Papua New Guinea Education Secretary Warns Schools Not To Charge Fees

Kombra says schools who violate Tuition Fee Free policy will be disciplines

By Grace Auka Salmang and Lynette Kil

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 31, 2017) – Schools covered by the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) Education Policy will be disciplined for charging enrolment fees, Education Secretary Uke Kombra warned again yesterday. As schools nationwide opened to a slow start yesterday for the 2017 school year for thousands of children, Dr Kombra renewed his warning that schools would be disciplined for defiance of lawful Government directive. He said that the Government through a National Executive Council decision directed in no uncertain terms that no fees of any sort relating to student enrolment be imposed upon parents.

"In line with the NEC decision, I have issued circular instructions; 2/16 and 2/17 in 2016 and 2017.

"Still, reports are coming in that a number of schools are imposing fees, including withholding certificates to collect so called outstanding fees from parents. That is uncalled for."

"The Department of Education will immediately suspend and investigate the head teacher of the school found to be charging fees.

"At the same time, the TFF payment for the school will be withheld until such time the investigations are completed and the findings are presented to the Department to decide on which action to be taken.

"School boards will also be suspended if they do not comply accordingly.

"The full support of provincial education boards and provincial education advisers is required to ensure the government’s policy on TFF education is implemented," he said. The department has established hotline numbers for each region which parents or guardians can use to call and report schools that are charging fees.

  • Southern 73327048;
  • NGI 72239926;
  • Highlands 70735658,
  • Momase 70835454;

The email address is tffhotline@education.gov.pg

"School inspectors are instructed to monitor and take appropriate actions where required," Dr Kombra warned.

In Port Moresby, most government schools started at a slow pace.

PNG Post-Courier
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