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SLOW RESPONSE BY PARENTS TO NEW FEE STRUCTURES HINDERS SCHOOL OPERATION

The slash in subsidies received by schools has been a case of concern for Mr Steven Taharin, the Head teacher of the Vunakanau Primary School in the Gazelle District of the East New Britain Province.

He said after becoming accustomed to the Tuition Fee Free Education system there has been a slow response in fee payments from parents.

Approaching the completion of the first academic year since coming into effect, parents are still trying to adapt to the new Government Tuition Fee Subsidy (GTFS) Policy.

Mr Taharin stated that while on TFF, around K80, 000 is received by the school for the running of each academic year.

However, with the switch to GTSF, a total of only K14, 000 has been received in 2020 to date.

The school administration is relying on these subsidies, as well as school fees collected from the students for the operations of the school year.

With a student population of 637, Taharin revealed to parents during a recent PNC meeting that there was K140, 000 yet to be paid in outstanding fees.

“What is expected by the government is that they [the parents] pay 50% and the government pays the other 50%, but that has not been happening. It is very slow.”

Taharin added that although parents have become used to the TFF system, they will need to adapt to tuition fee subsidies.

“It’s not bad that parents shoulder most of the funding for their children’s learning.”

“It’s a good idea because they [parents] will really stand behind their kids and make them study hard and learn well.”

Photo courtesy of Taka Oda

By Amos KAREMO
November 26, 2020