by Serah Aupong – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The newly elevated Kerema Secondary School has resorted to asking for parents for pay fees to the school as donations to ensure the school remains open.
Principal, Linda Kuari, said she has made some tough administrative decisions to tide the school over until they receive their next trench of Tuition Fee Free (TFF) funds.
Some drastic measures have resulted in staff not being hired, and some ancillary staff have been laid off.
“The security guards, the extra carpenters, the cook, the driver, typist, I didn’t get one and burser too I cannot get one, there is not enough money to pay all these people,” Kaupi said.
She has had to do the administrative roles herself. The school has resorted to asking parents to donate to the school.
“I am waiting that TFF will come good. Otherwise I am back to the parents. They are good, they have really come strong that, yes they are going to help with donations just to keep us going until the TFF comes in. We don’t know, we are just unsure right now. I am telling the parents don’t wait for the TFF, if there are issues here, let’s work on it,” she said.
Kauri said the delay in receiving their funds last year meant they operated on credits that were all repaid this year. The K40,000 they received for this term is not enough to cater for all their operational costs.
As a boarding school, the school needs K7,000 per week to ensure 229 boarding students are fed. The school has a total population of 458 students.
Ideally the school will need well over K100,000 to ensure the school runs well.
Previously, the school received the unit value of each student, but with K40,000 given this term for administration purposes only, the school is struggling.
So far each parent has agreed to pay K200 each to assist the school, and parents are standing by to do so.
Kauri said tomorrow (May 20) the school newsletter should go out that will contain the details of the school’s bank account so parents can start donating.