Parents Speak on Government’s Free Education Policy

By Colleen Barilae – EM TV News, Lae

Parents in Lae have spoken out on the state of the government’s free education policy.

Preparations for the new academic year have attracted comments from parents of students attending primary, secondary and high schools.

Most parents EMTV News spoke to questioned why the government kept charging project fees alongside its Tuition Fee Free (TFF) funds.

A queue in front of the BSP bank in Lae formed as early as 7am this morning, consisting mainly of parents preparing to make school fee deposits.

Most of the parents that lined up had at least two children attending primary or secondary schools this year. And, the schools that their children attend had been charging project fees since the introduction of TFF four years ago.

Following the government’s announcement last week on schools again charging project fees this year, some parents are still confused but have chosen to make deposits anyway in order to secure spaces for their children.

Some parents have also questioned the whole purpose of the government’s free education policy, when schools are still charging them fees.

In Lae, schools are now collecting fees from parents but are still unsure whether their share of the K150 million TFF will arrive on time.

Some secondary schools are asking for K400 project fees, while primary school parents are expected to pay K200.

Parents who have relied on the free education policy are questioning why the national government is supporting schools to charge fees again.

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