By Colleen Barilae – EM TV News, Lae
St Mary’s Primary School in Lae has revealed that only 40 per cent of the TFF funds have been paid into their account this year.
Head Teacher, Nicholas Lekung, says that the increasing enrolment with teacher to student ratio has forced the school to source funding elsewhere, and one of them is through fundraising avenues.
Despite limited funding, the school is doing its best to cater for this shift.
Mr Lekung says the decrease in the first quarter of 2016 TFF funds has affected the school’s operations.
The Catholic-run school has been operating on education grants, since the free education policy was introduced.
This year, the school plans to increase infrastructure, and among them are brand new teachers’ houses that will improve staff accommodation and enhance teaching services.
But the funds allocated by the government still cannot cater for what the school expects.
Staff and students have resorted to raising their own funds to meet the shortfalls.
This year the school received two payments in the months of February and April with K31,000 and K28,000 respectively.
The head teacher says these funds fall under the School Learning Improvement Program, which makes up only 40 per cent of the total funds for a year.
The rest is paid to a third party, which in most cases does not meet the actual resource needs of the school.
What the school is doing, is adjusting to the changes in government policies, on distribution of education grants, but the struggles faced in its operations remains.