Agency clears air on investment


The International Education Agency (IEA) board has denied claims that it was struggling to recoup money that it had invested for an infrastructure development project.
Board chairman Mea Ravu, in a statement, explained that the cost of the case along with the property development at Ela Beach could not be determined by Australian courts.
“I cannot comment on that matter for legal reasons, but we are quietly confident that our losses will be quite small once a verdict is reached,” he said.
“The development will eventually go ahead and the money it generates will be directed back into our schools to improve facilities and lower fees.
“Our constitutional and financial policies as well as 40 years of precedence ensure that only the schools can benefit from any increased income.
“The community can be assured that IEA is governed and managed responsibly and will continue to be PNG’s premier provider of private education for many years to come.”
IEA, which manages 19 schools and four TAFE colleges in PNG, had partnered with Juno Pty Ltd to develop a project in the country.
Ravu said the only source of income was school fees and these were collected by each school.
The schools then send a set percentage of these fees to the IEA head office to cover the cost of services.
“If IEA had been suffering from a cash-flow problem, then it would be keen to raise school fees in order to generate more money,” Ravu said.
He said recent reduction in salaries and benefits for teachers was designed to allow schools to lower fees by making the employment of teachers less costly.