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Bavaroko Primary School: Project fees are for operational costs

A primary school in Port Moresby with over 60 students in a classroom, and in dire need of better infrastructure is carrying out fundraising to build a new classroom that was left incomplete.

The incomplete classroom will be completed, if the school board is allowed to submit a project plan to be approved by the NCD education division, so that project fees would be charged to parents to cover the cost.

However that won’t be the process, the National Government has stopped schools charging project fees.

The Bavaroko school Board has no option, but to organise parents to do a fundraising to complete the building.

Free education from the National Government means more students in a classroom, but existing infrastructure does not cater for it.

“The classroom can’t cater for 61 students,” says teacher, Rhonda Suang.

It isn’t getting any easier. Just yesterday education Minister, Nick Kuman made a public announcement that schools are not allowed to charge project fees, while the education secretary, Dr. Uke Kombra gave out a toll free number to report principals who do.

Bavaroko Board Chairman, Jack Ninkam says schools need to charge project fees, because for some schools the TFF funding just can’t cater for their operational costs.

He explains that if school boards follow the right process than there is nothing wrong.

“It’s okay if a school board sends a plan to the Provincial Education department for approval and then they charge project fees according to the cost,” says Ninkam.

The National Government is adamant on providing universal education; its vision is noble, but because of the lack of support over the years, school administrations are dealing with more problems.


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