By MALUM NALU
ENGA Governor Sir Peter Ipatas says it has cost the province K280 million since 1997 to carry out a pioneering free education policy.
He revealed this during a meeting to discuss the issue of Engan students and the current crisis at the major universities with prominent Engans outside Port Moresby last Saturday.
Sir Peter, when he became the Enga governor in 1997, set up free education in his “last province”, which had become the template for the Government’s current free education policy.
“Enga province has spent more than K280 million on education – and this is not money from the National Government which only recently came in to help us,” he said.
“Using our own royalties from Porgera (gold mine), more than K280 million has been spent on education since 1997.
“That is why we have a large number (of students) in all institutions.
“We created space and we put in the infrastructure in the province.
“That is why you (students) should not play around.
“As a student, you must also be responsible to those people (and sponsors) who sent you to school.
“One of them is the provincial government which has invested a lot of money in you.
“Sometimes you have to tell us why you are taking these kinds of actions – which are likely to compromise your education.
“Enga students must know that those people who have gone ahead of you now hold very senior positions because they were well-educated – not because they were rascals or went on strike.”
Sir Peter said a concerted effort by everyone in the province was needed to help students focus on their studies.
“As a province, we spend so much money and resources on education so we are concerned,” he said.
Sir Peter said the future of the province depended heavily on the education of its young people.
By MALUM NALU