THE report that states that 2 million students expected to be enrolled in school this year has moved me to the extent that it brought tears to my eyes.
It hit me that if more PNG children went to school, the country would change.
We don’t need to go beyond our national boundaries to see the value of education.
The classic in-house example of the power of education to change lives for the better is portrayed in Enga.
After more than two decades of financing free education, Enga is reaping the benefits today.
The chances of finding an Engan in the top three positions of any organisation, both private and State, is almost a certainty.
Elsewhere, in the same issue the story about students at Unitech being denied registration because of fees issues left me dejected.
It is a fact that the large portion of wealth in this country is in the hands of the select 10 per cent of the elites of our nation.
But a large chunk of the student population is from the non-elite 90 per cent.
These are the ones who need the Government’s help.
Helping them would ensure that the country’s wealth is shared throughout the nation.
In hindsight, education is a right as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
This Government runs the risk of our country being seen as ignorant of UN Charters, thus, being portrayed in a negative light.
We run the risk of losing support from UN and other world bodies in the education sector.
The prime minister hails from Hela and has witnessed the success of Sir Ipatas’ free education policy in Enga.
Yet, he chooses to deny this just because he wants to aggravate his major political rivals.
He desperately wants to build his own identity before 2022, even at the expense of the future of this country.
This is selfish leadership.
Emotions should not be the foundation for our nation’s policies.
Education is not about everyone getting employed after getting an education.
It is about having educated citizens who will support the growth of our nation while being on the par with citizens of other nations.
We cannot be competitive without an educated population.
The number one resource for any organisation, public or private is human resource.
A nation is no different.
Of course, it will be expensive but we have evidence to prove that perseverance will bring huge rewards.
We know that it costs money and other sectors will lag because of funding a free education policy.
But we cannot always have our cake and eat it at the same time.
We can only focus on something that we are certain will bring positive change to our nation.
I call on the Government to review its rejection of the previous government’s free education policy while the school year is just resuming.
It should relieve the burden underprivileged people that constitute a bulk of our population.
That’s the onus on a responsible government.