2 Feb 2010

PNG education minister urges schools to accept students

2:40 pm on 2 February 2010

The Papua New Guinea Minister for Education, James Marape, says schools shouldn't turn away students who fail to pay fees at the beginning of the school year.

He has issued an appeal that school authorities allow students to enrol and attend classes even if they have not paid while their parents and guardians sort out their finances.

Mr Marape says the Department recognises the problems parents face in paying for school fees, and school boards should negotiate with those that genuinely do not have the cash and allow them to pay in kind.

Last year, the government announced that over ten years it would bring in universal free education through to year nine.

Mr Marape says this means that from this year all elementary school students from Prep to Grade 2 will not have to pay fees.

But he says he's heard that head teachers have been refusing to accept children in these years if they cannot make a fee payment.