By PATRICK TALU
ABOUT a third of Kandep student population has been left out of the Kandep free education scheme initiated by local MP and Transport, Works and Civil Aviation Minister Don Polye.
Newman Alon, Andy and Tony Michael and Nolin Dickson, speaking on behalf of students who missed out, claimed their names were deliberately omitted.
The grades 9 and 10 from Kandep High School expressed their grievances to The National in Wabag last week that they were still out of school due to the exclusion of their names from the free education scheme.
The students alleged that Mr Polye had instructed the scheme coordinators to collect names of students who had cast their votes for him in the recent by-election.
Mr Alon, a matriculation student at6 the Wabag university centre, said: “If the K2 million free education is from the district services improvement programme, then every student from
Kandep is entitled to benefit from it, irrespective of their political affiliation.
“If the K2 million is from Mr Polye’s own pocket, then he chooses who benefits from his money. Otherwise, it’s not good for a well-respected senior national leader to discriminate and draw lines between his supporters and non-supporters.”
Mr Michael, a Grade 10 Kandep High School student, said if Mr Polye was genuine and concerned with human resources development in his electorate, he should not discriminate.
Yesterday, when The National contacted the coordinators of the free education scheme, a coordinator, who did not want to be identified, said: “There was no line drawn between Mr Polye’s supporters and non-supporters.
“It’s just that those students think that they haven’t cast their vote or supported Mr Polye and did not want to submit their names.
“All these allegations are influenced by Mr Polye’s critics.”
More than 3,000 names from elementary to tertiary students have been finalised and ready to be deliberated by the joint district planning and budget priority committee before cheques will be distributed to schools next week.