By GYNNIE KERO
THE Government has urged parents to enrol their children who have dropped out of school into the Flexible Open and Distance Education (Fode) this year as it is free.
Education Minister Jimmy Uguro yesterday said no fees would be levied on Fode students and encouraged those who could not make it to the upper grades to enrol at their nearest Fode center.
“Fode is fee-free this year,” Uguro said.
“Parents are not paying.
“The Government has paid the fees.
“This is to address the high turn-over of school dropouts each year.
“The Education Department has been tasked to attach Fode centres to high school and nominated primary schools in districts and provinces.
“A team from the Education Department is working on a plan to have all school leavers absorbed into the system.
“This is so we can reduce the number of student dropouts doing nothing out there.
“As soon as school commences on Feb 1, Fode classes should also commence.”
Prime Minister James Marape said recently that the Government would offer an alternative education pathway to help those who dropped out of school. Uguro said the Covid-19 affected student’s learning last year which resulted in 17,000 students missing out on moving to the next level.
“Fode is free because we are accommodating the school leavers, we are opening up opportunities for those who have been left out, we are taking them on board,” he said.
“The Fode students will study the same contents and they will sit for the same exams.
“So no one should be left behind.
“All students should be educated equally. Last year, there was a big drop so the Government is addressing this issue through Fode.”
Uguro said teachers would be paid an allowance for teaching Fode.
He advised students interested in taking up Fode to check with the Fode centres in the provinces and districts because the Government was committed to starting the fee-free initiative this year.
By GYNNIE KERO