K300 mil Dispersed For Schools

Prime Minister James Marape in Thursday’s (20 Jan) parliament sitting announced the disbursement of K321 million, for school fees for lower education.

The funding is part of K632 million allocated in this year’s budget to the Department of Education (DoE), as per the free education policy.

The DoE will be working with all schools across the country to ensure that funds are in their school accounts, when the academic year commences.

The PM made the announcement during question time. He was providing clarity into the free education policy being implemented by the government. PM Marape stated that school administrations should only be charging project fees not beyond twenty percent (20%) of what the school fee bench mark is, set by the National Education Board.

“At no instance should school boards be collecting extra school fees, except what the national education board sets for project fees. Project fees should be collected, but not be beyond 20% of what the school fee bench mark (is),” said the Prime Minister.

He said if school administrations are not charging what is required, provincial governments must step in to advice accordingly.

The Prime Minister was responding to questions posed by the Member for Markham and Deputy Speaker, Koni Iguan, querying project fee limits and other fees that might be imposed by school administrations across the country as the academic year commences.

In 2019, when Prime Minister Marape took office, his government ceased the free education policy and transferred 37 per cent of the school fee responsibility back to the parents, guardians, district authorities, and provincial governments, whist the government subsidized 63 percent of the school fees.

However, due to the strain brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marape-led government has reintroduced the free education policy.

Marysila Kellerton