11 May 2006

PNG's education secretary working on providing free elementary education

9:04 am on 11 May 2006

The Secretary of Education in Papua New Guinea says it is working on providing free elementary education to children from six years to eight years old.

Dr Jospeh Pangelio's comments come after the National Reserach Institute called on the government to fully subsidise fees because half the child population were not attending school.

In the NRI survey, school fees and lack of access were reasons given for children not attending school.

Dr Pangelio says the government cannot afford to totally remove fees.

However he say the government is working on abloshing fees for a small segment of the child population.

"We have a new national education plan for 2005 to 2014. We hope to begin that process very soon and we hope that by the year 2012 we will have enough space for every six year old child to go to school and to remain there until the end of elementary school."

Dr Pangelio says for primary education to be free the department will need to approach international donors for help.