31 Jan 2013

PNG think tank says government needs time and help to provide free education

4:23 pm on 31 January 2013

The head of a privately-funded think tank in Papua New Guinea says development assistance and time are needed for the government to reach its target of free education for all pupils.

The government has released 112 million US dollars as the first installment of funds for its free education programme.

The Director of the Institute of National Affairs Paul Barker says schools are required to submit their bank account numbers before they receive funding but many schools in remote areas have no access to a bank.

"Well the likelihood is that many schools will miss out and a lot of effort needs to be done at the provincial education level to assist the process for the remoter schools. Unfortunately the system is that you have provincial governments, some of them have very substantial budgets these days, but they severely lack financial management systems capabilities."

Paul Barker says the government needs to collaborate with provincial education departments, development partners and churches to fulfill its free education goal.