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New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan announced to students, parents, schools and the general public that his government will abide by the National Government’s decision to revoke the Free Education Policy and charge 50 percent school fees.
He said this during the graduation ceremonies at Madina Girl’s Secondary, Ramana Elementary and Umbukul Primary schools.
“The National Government made the decision in the announcement by the Treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey and New Ireland will follow the decision. Parents and guardians will chip in 50 percent of the school fees. The onus is back to the parents. I think this will wake everyone up to the fact that we all need to work hard and plan to get anywhere in life. Nothing in this world is free,” said Sir Julius.
However Sir Julius intends to review the impact of the national policy on his Government’s policy launched in 2013, to achieve total literacy in New Ireland by the year 2026.
“The PPP Government places great emphasis on basic Education, in line with the United Nations Declaration on Human rights.”
Sir Julius clarified that the 50 percent adjustment on the national policy will not affect the New Ireland tertiary education subsidy policy – this will still be available to New Ireland students next year.
New Ireland has gone from one secondary school in 2007 to seven today. Three new high schools opened, with another on the way. “We now have a high or secondary school in every LLG, so fewer students should have to travel a long way from home and board at school. And we have also provided funding to educate up to 50 New Irelanders in the OLSH Governor’s School of Excellence,” said Sir J.
Since the introduction of this policy in 2009, a total of K43.5 million was spent on subsidizing the school fees of students attending elementary to Grade a12 and students attending Tertiary Institutions across PNG.
And between Free and Subsidised Education and education infrastructure the New Ireland Government has spent nearly K200 million in ten years.