By GABRIEL FITO
EAST Sepik parents are planning a peaceful protest tomorrow to pressure the provincial government to settle 50% of student fees in elementary schools and universities.
More than 200 parents, who have been under extreme pressure to settle the fees, joined more than 1,000 others in signing a petition drafted by East Sepik parents advocacy chairman George Numbasa at
the Wewak Volleyball Courts yesterday.
Mr Numbasa said there were about 200,000 parents in the province but due to inaccessibility, they could not make it to the provincial capital to sign the petition.
He said parents throughout the province had been notified of their intention to petition the provincial government and, by tomorrow, at least 5,000 parents would have signed the petition demanding the government to help alleviate the school fee woes.
Mr Numbasa said with the increase of 15% on school fees this year, parents were being confronted with a mammoth task of settling their children’s education needs.
“If this system can work in Enga, Simbu and Morobe, why can’t it happen here in East Sepik,” Mr Numbasa said.
Among those who signed the petition was Rosa Komang, the only sister of Prime Minister and East Sepik MP Sir Michael Somare.
Mrs Komang said school fees had now become a problem for her children, especially living in the province who had struggled over the years to pay.
However, East Sepik provincial administrator Samson Torovi, who was attracted by the crowd that swelled on the sports field, urged the concerned parents to follow proper procedures and present their petition.