Bougainville Schools End Term Early Having Not Received Subsidies From Government

Providers withhold services to schools over unpaid bills

By Sebastian Hakalits

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 21, 2016) – Thousands of students attending five secondary and seven high schools throughout Bouganville will be going home early because the schools are yet to receive their term three tuition fee free school subsidies.

Principals of these schools met yesterday and decided to send all students home one week early before the Term Three break and not to return for Term Four after the one-week break.

The slow release of the term three TFF school subsidies has frustrated many service providers in the autonomous region who were longer willing to supply the schools on credit basis because they have already incurred high debts for their services.

Secondary and High Schools Forum chairman Martin Takali, who is Hutjena Secondary School principal, said at the meeting yesterday that if the money did not reach the schools by week’s end "we will not continue Term 4 and this will greatly affect the Grade 10 and Grade 12 examinations coming up in week two, three and four next term."

Mr Takali said the forum decisions would be deliberated on by the Bougainville education board today at the education headquarters in Bougainville, and the principals are calling on the board to make an urgent submission to the Bougainville executive council to approve urgent funding that can be used for classes to continue for the Grade 10 and Grade 12 students, while the Grades 9 and 11 would have to stay home.

He said if the money arrived later then the schools would have to find time to make up for the lost time.

Mr Takali said that if the Education Department did pay, then it must pay for both terms Three and Four in full because the Term Three payment will cover the expenses that had already been incurred by the schools from service providers.

PNG Post-Courier
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