Opposition Leader Belden Namah has called on the government to repeal the tuition fee free policy as well as the higher education loan program, and revert to existing policies.
In a statement released yesterday, Namah has asked the government to clarify whether processes are in place to implement the changes to the education tuition fee programs, as announced in the budget.
The Prime Minister however, has actively been in the media, regarding the school fee subsidies and the higher education loan program.
Mr Namah is questioning the school fee subsidiary policy, as well as the higher education loan program, as not being ready, given the short time frame for parents and students to adjust to the new payment arrangements.
“Since Marape is giving mixed signals and no departments and agencies charged with implementing the policies seems to be informing the public on whether or not systems and processes are in place for the 2020 school year to commence, we can only assume nothing is ready”,
“ This close to the school year opening, where do parents, especially low income learners, come up with fees in addition to existing project fees? I can safely predict chaos when frustrated parents and students meet confused and equally frustrated school’s administration in two weeks’ time” Namah said.
The Prime Minister met with representatives from Tertiary institutions around the country in Port Moresby on Tuesday to clarify the misconceptions surrounding the student loan program
Marape says his government is working to provide equal opportunities with equal contribution and equal distribution, hence the TFF and HELP policies.
However Namah says tertiary institutions have to publicly announce their capacity and ability to implement the TFF and HELP policies and how much adjustments or time they will need.
Namah has called on the government to recall parliament and repeal its policies.
He also called on parents and students to make possible arrangements to go on alone at this stage to avoid disappointment.
“If the government is unable to roll out the changes smoothly and given the short time frame, the most responsible position for Prime Minister James Marape to take is to recall parliament and repeal changes to the tuition fee free education and higher education loan program and revert to existing policies”. Namah said.
By Pamela Barara, EMTV News Cadet, Port Moresby