BY ELIAS NANAU
The Education Department has formally farewelled former minister Joseph Yopyyopy and welcomed new minister Jimmy Uguro.
The event which took place at the headquarters at Fincorp Haus was well attended by senior staff of the department and heads of the Teaching Service Commission Samson Wangihomie, director general of the Office of Library and Archives Kasi Kakaito and Secretary Dr Uke Kombra.
Mr Yopyyopy said the government has to put money where its mouth is if it wants to take back PNG and the only way is through education by having an educated population.
Mr Yopyyopy decried the government’s inability to providing consistent funding throughout 2020.
“And if the there’s budget allocated to achieve quality education for all we must see that through,” he said in front of the new minister and Department staff.
“One of my disappointments in 2020 is that K486 million was allocated for 30,000 schools we have in the country and that is when we launched the policy for government to pay 63 percent of total tuition free fees and parents meet 37 percent.”
“But the remaining part of the year nothing came through.”
He said the 63 percent works out to be around K486 million and all the schools received the first term allocation for 2020.
The former minister revealed another tranche was paid in the second term but the remaining part of the year, nothing was paid to schools.
“So my call will be if the government is serious to improve quality of education and take back PNG then put money where your mouth is,” Mr Yopyyopy said.
“And when you put money don’t take it back out. Schools struggled and went through without full funding support in 2020 and it’s a shame there’s further budget cut in 2021,” he said, adding that the government must put money into education.