There will be no free education for students in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
This year, the Bougainville Education Board has approved tutition fee limits, which means parents will have to pay.
Secretary of the Autonomous Bougainville Government Education Department, Justin Kehatsin, says that tuition fees applies to all levels of education in the autonomous region.
The decision to charge tuition fees was imposed by the Bougainville Education Board, following lessons learnt from the National Government’s Tuition Fee Free Policy.
“The TFF Policy does not adequately finance the learning institutions. It only pays certain things which has made it difficult for most schools around the country to operate.”
Kehatsin said with this hardships, the Bougainville Education Board has had to use their power to execute a decision to impose tuition fees starting this year.
Section 19 of the Bougainville Education Act 2013, gives power to the Bougainville Education Board to impose tuition fees.
Kehatsin says that Bougainville needs standards, and quality education, and has exercised the powers, which are part of the draw-down of powers from the National Government to the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
“The power gives us the right to implement any decision for the good of our future.”
Meanwhile, normal classes for the 2017 academic year resumed today, however most schools like Hutjena Secondary School were still sorting out students registration and will begin formal classes on Wednesday.
The Bougainville Education Secretary has called for cooperation among all stakeholders of education.
As the new Secretary he said, priority will be on teachers as the backbone of education.
“We must all work together. If we are concerned about the future of our children and Bougainville, we have to work hand in hand to raise the bar,” Kehatsin said.