Saturday, December 07, 2019

PM Marape: Government not depriving students of education

Prime Minister  Hon. James Marape says his Government is not “kicking out a million students  from school” as claimed by former Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.
He was responding to statements by O'Neill, who was notably absent at last the 2020 Budget session on November 28 and Debate on December 5, criticising the 50 per cent reduction in school fees for primary, high and secondary school students.
Prime Minister Marape has introduced a K200 million students' tertiary loan scheme to which monies from the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) will be diverted.

Video below (please click to view) shows Prime Minister Marape talking about "a second chance in life" for Grades 8, 10 and 12 school dropouts after Thursday's 2020 Budget passage. This is apart from the student loan scheme for tertiary students. All come under the K200 million Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP).

"Under O'Neill's watch, the 'low quality' free education policy was pushed," he said.
"Contrary to what he is barking about, we are  creating an avenue to address all children in our country, including those who leave schools.
"Under the previous PNC-led Government, TFF was a ‘feel good headline’ for political convenience.
"The unreported reality was that the full money was never reaching schools.
" Corrupt middlemen and their cronies syphoned off millions.

The stark reality. ~Graph provided by TREASURER IAN LING-STUCKEY

"Low quality education was evident with more students dropping off at grades 8, grade 10 and grade 12 with no further education option.
" We are trying to share the burden by involving parents, local government, provincial governments and National Government.
“ At Elementary to Grade 12, we will pay 50 per cent, and the local MP or provincial government can partner by footing the other 50 per cent. "
Prime Minister Marape said O'Neill was oblivious to the fact that the most burdensome cost to parents was that of vocational, technical , college and universities.
" That is something we want to pick up through the HELP, or Higher Education Loan Programme  facility," he said.
"We all know that children don’t remain in primary or secondary school forever.
" We are  creating pathways , options and school fees for children at all levels when they leave school.
“ I have been Education Minister before.
"I am well-versed with issues in education, and I want to make quality education available for all.
" Sharing responsibilities between parents, and with MPs and Governors, can be a start towards us 'Taking Back PNG' in as far as quality education is concerned."

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