Students and lecturers of Balob Teachers’ College in Lae were reminded by their principal last week and again this week that the Department of Education and Department of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (DHERST) are in the red. Both departments cannot afford the cost of printing graduating students’ diplomas and pay up the Higher Education Contribution Assistance Scheme (HECAS) component respectively. Graduating students are now being asked to contribute K50 each to meet the cost of printing. There are more than 700 final year students, and if they contribute K50 each, that would amount to a staggering K35, 000.
They are also told to look for money and await DHERST’s official letter to authorise them to pay up the HECAs component of their boarding fees to the college before they graduate. If this is true, and is a Government directive, there should be a public notice made through media by the secretaries of the two departments. This is so that students and parents must be aware and also be sure that it is a really a Government directive. Education Secretary Dr Uke Kombra and colleague DHERST Secretary Fr Jan Czuba: Please enlighten us on this matter.
Concerned teacher and parent