O’Neill: Multi-million Kina TFF Policy has Improved Education and Should be Pushed to Greater Heights

*** Keep It, Don’t Kick It ***

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has challenged his critics to come up with a better policy on education.

He also announced plans for tertiary education help for financially-strapped students. The Prime Minister said his government’s education policy has been praised by a United Nations report and most people liked it.

Speaking at Keapara village, Central Province, last weekend, Mr O’Neill said that free education should be pushed to greater heights not kicked out as suggested by his critics without offering workable alternatives. Opposition Leader Don Polye has suggested that a government he leads would introduce a user pay policy in which parents would have to pay for their children’s education.

However, Mr O’Neill said that in the past five years the Government had taken great strides in improving its education.

“There are challenges there that we understand but instead of trying to get rid of free education policy they (the critics) should aspire to improve on it and not try to kick children out of school because their parents cannot afford to pay for it. That is the challenge we are committed to doing.”

The Government’s multi-million kina tuition fee free (TFF) policy has come under severe criticisms from all sectors of society mainly for slowness in delivery of money to schools accounts, and schools not getting their fair share of promised allocations.

Mr O’Neill said achieving and ensuring that every child attained some level of education had been the achievement and legacy the People’s National Congress-led Government wanted to remain in the country.

“This is why we have already tabled – a government fund that is with Cabinet to look at to allow for the repayment of funds made available to students after they leave tertiary education,” he announced.

“The human mind from one person to the next is different, not everyone has the same learning capacity as the next person. That does not mean everyone is unable to learn, that is why we have picked out this cases and ensured education is the cornerstone and it is not cheap but we must continue to give each and everyone education,” Mr O’Neill said.

“Papua New Guineans must stand up to a vision of every child in this country having a decent education.”

“We must have a meaningful life in the future.”

Post-Courier Miriam Zarriga May 22, 2017

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