Sunday, June 27, 2010

Public-private partnership a winner in supporting universal basic education in Port Moresby


A public-private partnership between National Capital District Education, National Capital District Commission (NCDC) and Treid Pacific (PNG) Ltd is setting the trend for implementation of universal basic education (UBE) in NCD and Papua New Guinea.
 The partners - NCD Education, NCDC and Treid Pacific with Bavaroko Elementary School students

The national government’s UBE policy 2010-2019 advocates that all six-year-old children throughout PNG must be in school – and complete nine years of basic education - irrespective of location, environment and social status.

Under this system, the national government pays 100% school fee subsidy for Elementary Prep to Elementary Grade Two, and 30% subsidy for Primary Three to Eight.
 A demonstration of public-private partnership

The partnership will manage the fee free policy, provide access through project-based development, ensure retention by providing quality education and aim for a higher literacy level by 2019.

The school fee management strategy in NCD has three components which are commodity, cash and quality.

The commodity component ensures equitable term-wise materials are delivered to every student/teacher/officer/administration and effective documentation is in place to ensure timely receipts.
 Nobody misses out on their essential entitlements - equitable, quality education for all

The cash component ensures school staff are trained in basic financial management and suitable measures are in place for physical inspections and audit.

In-servicing all elementary head teachers on the new systems

The quality component refers to the joint management by NDOE, NCDC and Treid Pacific.

“Universal Basic Education (UBE) basically means education for everyone in Papua New Guinea from Elementary Prep right up to Grade Eight,” an official involved in the project told The National.

“Traditionally, in the past, cheques were raised and distributed to schools in the form of cash grants.

“The national problem has always been that schools have not been able to acquit the cash grants given to them, and neither the Department (of Education) had the capacity to go and check every individual school on how the money was utilised.

“The NCD Governor Powes Parkop, aware of the temptation for gross misuse of public monies if not monitored closely, embarked on a system of accountability and transparency to ensure that public money was used for the maximum benefit of educating each and every child in NCD.

“He is also a great advocate of engaging professional private contractors with proven track records of delivery of quality education.

“Hence, after public notice for companies to bid, the company Treid Pacific Ltd was selected and contracted to be the private partner in jointly developing the overall quality of education in NCD and also for it to be the model for other provinces.”

Treid Pacific is already ensuring that 40% of each student’s allocation from the national government is converted to essential basic requirements for every student at various levels for the four terms of each year.

The company pre-packages school books and other stationery for each student, which are issued by their teachers, and parents must sign to confirm receipt.
 Parents signing proof of receipt acknowledgements

“This is a foolproof system of monitoring each student’s needs and ensuring they receive their allocation on time,” the official explained.

“This NCD model should be followed by other provinces and district in PNG

“Treid Pacific is also involved in establishing financial management systems to ensure that 50% of the fee substitution with public funds is acquitted.

“The PPP arrangement also involves the joint monitoring, inspections, assessments, inventory control checks, general school administration and operations undertaken in providing quality education.”

The official added status/scope /survey of each individual school and development of a 5-10 year development  plan was essential to ascertain the intake  pattern and phases of accommodating  all eligible students after undertaking the household survey /child census.

“The quality of education as a result of adequate and better teachers, more and better classrooms, adequate and better resources and facilities, better effective administration and management and even nutritional support (midday meal), will reduce the dropout levels and maximise retention up to Grade Eight,” he said.
 Teachers receiving their entitlements

NCD is setting the trend in all developmental activities primarily because of:
·        Strong and persuasive political will;
·        District education board’s decisions; and
·        Private partner’s professionalism

 Students of Evedehana Elementary School

“The implementation of the UBE, which started at the beginning of the school year 2010, is a big task ahead,” the official said.

 Students of Foursquare Elementary School

“Cash was paid out directly to all elementary and primary schools throughout the country in February /March 2010.

 Students of Kilakila Elementary School

“A meeting of all senior education officers will be underway in Goroka this week as to study if the money given to schools was used wisely or unwisely or if anyone at all knows how it was used!

 Students of St Paul's Elementary School

“The UBE implementation framework and guidelines will have to be finalised immediately for policy change and implementation in the year 2011.”

1 comment:

  1. PPP is a good concept for improving the delivery of better education to school children.