But, Sir Julius says: Dump your MPs if they fail to provide
By JEFFREY ELAPA
FREE and universal basic education in the country will cost the government more than K17 billion over the next decade, Education Minister James Marape said during debate in parliament last Friday, The National reports.
He said a cabinet meeting in Wabag last year decided on free education and that had been endorsed by the national executive council.
Marape said as a responsible government, it had to consider other important sectors to make sure they did not stuff up "when a large chunk of money is injected into free education".
New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan said education was a right, as stipulated under the United Nations charter, and the government should provide free education.
"First and foremost is the future of the nation and, in order to have a literate society, the government should invest in education," he said.
Sir Julius said none of the nation's wealth was going to the people and the only way was to give free education to children.
"It is the best way to distribute wealth and it is best to invest in our human resources."
He said through free education, "money will be put into the pockets of the people, which will then raise their standard of living".
"It is time for the people to demand free education from their political representatives.
"If they do not do that, then throw them out in the 2012 general election," Sir Julius said.
He said if he could provide free education in his province, "there is no reason why the government cannot" do that.