K27mil school development allocation misused, says official


ABOUT K27 million allocated for school infrastructure development in the tuition fee-free (TFF) budget was used for other purposes, according to the PNG Teachers Association.
Association general-secretary Ugwalubu Mowana said this was confirmed by the school infrastructure monitoring and evaluation division. “Our children’s education and our schools’ development suffered as a result of the abuse of funds,” he said.
He claimed that some MPs allocated this funding for their electorates and used the funds for other purposes.
Mowana said the “inconsistency in data regarding the number of schools and number of students” created an avenue for abuse of the funds.
“Delivery of TFF was always late and never on time.
“The cash component, infrastructure component and school materials were always received late and most of the time short of the needs of children and schools.”
The free education programme was introduced in 2012 by the Peter O’Neill-led government.
Mowana said the association respected the decision of the Government to shift funding attention to basic education.
“Parents in the rural areas and low income earners will be something to consider because they will have to start to look for money to pay school fee,” he said.
The Government must create more avenues such as markets for people to use to generate money for school fees.
“We commend the current government for its bold move and hope that (its) insight in funding education is visionary,” he said.