27 Feb 2009

PNG free education plans queried

2:40 pm on 27 February 2009

Questions are being raised over plans by the Papua New Guinea government to provide free schooling for children from grade one to grade eight.

The Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare says Cabinet has decided to cover schooling costs once the policy is in place.

Some principals around the country are doubtful over whether the government can commit to such a plan.

The head teacher of Gama Lutheran Primary School in Eastern Highlands Province, Gibson Sikondowe, says while free education would get more children off the streets and into classrooms, teachers may have a hard time.

"Classrooms will be flooded by the children. There won't be enough space, desks for the students. There won't be enough materials, curriculum for the students. The teachers, I think that their teaching ratios will also increase. And we need more teachers and more pay."

Gibson Sikondowe says he would like to see the government honour any promises made.