The Principals Forum of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville has criticised the National Education Department for the lack of consultation on matters concerning the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) Policy.
Forum Chairman and Principal for Hutjena Secondary School, Martin Takali, told EMTV News in Buka that there was no consultation with schools before the policy was passed.
Takali said that schools all throughout Papua New Guinea have experienced records as to why the TFF is a failed policy.
He said the TFF policy has raised concerns because it is affecting school operational plans due to underpayment.
This is an issue that needs to be properly addressed.
He said a major factor is that authorities are not using the updated student’s enrolment figures so that the funds are appropriated accordingly.
“All the things that we have budgeted for are for effective administration of the school, and if we do cut one, it’s going to affect the others. I am very concerned because the payments have not been coming in full,” said Takali.
Another concern was the new TFF policy, something that doesn’t sit well with the Principals Forum.
“We are not aware, where will that 30 per cent component for infrastructure projects and the curriculum component will come from. Because they cannot take out money from the current amount that they are paying to the schools,” he said.
The standard of learning materials for high and secondary schools have dropped since the TFF policy was introduced.
Takali said materials like exercise books received by Hutjena Secondary School are 32 pages, and are not enough.
“They should not give money to stationary companies and say, this is your money, you give stationary and curriculum materials to the school, do they know the particular materials that we need,” he said.