by Jack Lapauve Jr – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Over 10,000 students from the Porgera SML landowner areas will be affected if royalty monies for school fees are not released soon.
Concerned parents and students, including Porgera Lagaip MP, Nixon Mangape, met today and called on Barrick Niugini Limited to immediately release these funds.
Some parents say that students may miss out for their final examinations if the royalty is not paid to the Porgera Children’s Investment Fund.
“They must release these funds so fees can be paid to schools and the children can continue their learning,” said a concerned parent, Patrick Pundi.
They say the former chairman of the Porgera Landowners Association, Mark Ekepa, is serving his interest only in not allowing the processing of the royalties.
Mangape says that the future of these children will be in jeopardy if this matter is not addressed as soon as possible.
He called on Ekepa to do the right thing, as education is vital for all children in the SML area.
Some students have been told to withdraw from schools after their fees were not paid in full. This has left parents with many questions as to how their children will complete the 2015 academic year.