Free elementary education

National, Normal


ELEMENTARY education for this year will be fully subsidised throughout the country by the Government, Education Minister James Marape clarified last night.
Mr Marape went on  NBC talkback show last night to announce to the nation that the first day of enrolment and school for 2010 went very well.
He also warned schools not to turn away elementary students as all students across the elementary level would receive free education.
This follows reports reaching the Education Department and the education minister earlier yesterday that parents of students in elementary schools in NCD were asked to pay K100 per
student for elementary 1 (E1) and 2 (E2), and that only elementary prep was free.
Most schools in NCD,when contacted yesterday, said they were acting upon a circular issued by the NCD education services over a week ago.
The circular told  schools to impose normal fees for E1 and E2, while only prep was free, despite the announcement by the ministry and department last year of free elementary education.
The turning away of students by some elementary school head teachers at NCD schools only came to the attention of Mr Marape around noon yesterday.
When the Education Department was contacted yesterday afternoon, it said that the NCD education services circular instruction was misleading and that it had been issued to schools without departments approval.
A news conference is expected today to clarify further misunderstanding between the department, NCD education services and NCD schools.
The briefing is also to announce that school fees under the Universal Basic Education (UBE) policy for the year, would see  all elementary students from prep to Grade 2 not having to pay any fees.
It is understood that Mr Marape is also expected to announce that money for all elementary schools would be sent to schools by the end of the month.