Meeting parents halfway with school fees

The East Sepik Provincial administration has been tasked to draft a school fee subsidy policy to at least meet parents halfway with school fee payments for tertiary studies.

Governor Allan Bird said the provincial government will commit K1 million out of the Provincial Services Improvement Program fund, and another million from the province's internal revenue to implement the policy in the initial stages, with long term plans to increase internal revenue to fully fund the implementation of this policy.

Governor Bird said the provincial government will be fair when funding the subsidy.

Specific requirements in the policy will include supporting a maximum of two children per family.

Each one will be given K2 thousand, regardless of which university or college they will attend.

The K2 million funding can support 1 thousand students for the moment.

Another requirement is that students who complete year 12 studies in the province will be considered.

Governor Bird said parents can pay the full fees now, and claim the K2 thousand later on when the policy is in place.

He said it is with hope that the policy can run well alongside the Tuition Fee Free Education Policy, as well as other school fee subsidy programs that other East Sepik districts may have.

Meantime, the Governor expressed a break down in the functions of the Education Board, saying teachers continue to suffer.

He said monies that have been given to run teachers' programs, among others, have not been utilised wisely.

Furthermore, the Teachers Services Commission, who were to supervise the implementation of these funds, said the money was not used for its intended purpose.

(Leaders: Former ESP governor, Sir Michael Somare, with incumbent Governor Allan Bird)

Salome Vincent