Govt to pay full school fees

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THE Government will pay full tuition fees for students in government schools from next year, Prime Minister James Marape says. The announcement came during the launching of the 2020-29 national education plan on Friday in Port Moresby. Marape said all State schools would be fee-free to help parents through the current tough economic times. “With the Covid-19, many parents are struggling. “We have already made the decision for us to pay 100 per cent tuition fee next year,” Marape said. “Students who have programmes at higher learning institutions will still be run next year so we will try our best to carry the load.” Earlier this year, Education Minister Jimmy Uguro said the total funding for the Government Tuition Fees Subsidy Policy (GTFS) was K486,351,600. Parents were to pay 37 per cent and the Government 63 per cent of the fees. The flexible open distance education was free this year. Uguro said the GTFS policy underscored its principle to make education cost for our children a partnership between the Government, parents, churches and communities. “We have seen the last regime making our people lazy, detach parents from schools and systematically removed their interest from schools. “We want to disengage and cut out the dependency syndrome that we have systematically allowed into our PNG culture. “The shift in the school financing policy by the Government is deliberate to get parents and communities to plough the soil and work hard, and contribute to reviving the economy than creating a handout culture and a dependency syndrome,” Marape said in a statement.