Partial or non-payment, let them enrol: PM

The Prime Minister has instructed the Minister and secretary for higher education to allow all students to enrol, whether with partial or non-payment of tertiary fees.

PM Peter O'Neill told parliament yesterday following questions by Wabag MP Dr Lino Tom.

Parliament was informed that institutions like the University of Papua New Guinea started turning students away during registration last week.

“If you look at the school fee structure, I think it is discriminatory of students whose parents are not so well off to afford to save enough money in one year, to send their children to school the following year,” the MP said.

His statement was directed to Prime Minister O’Neill, who said necessary instructions have been communicated to the Ministry and Department of Higher Education to inform tertiary institutions, including the University of Papua New Guinea, to allow all students to enrol.

“I’m aware of the decisions that UPNG has made and after various meetings, we agreed to leave the school fees as they were in 2017,” stated the PM.

“As for students being turned away, the Minister and Secretary have been instructed to allow tertiary students to enrol, even with part payment of fees.

“The Government will also continue to find innovative ways for students and parents to meet school fees each year. One such is the one that Australia implements, which is the Student Loan where students get loans, and pay it back when they are employed,” Prime Minister O’Neill said.

Salome Vincent