Make use of free education: Eoe


COMMUNITY Development, Youth and Religion Minister Soroi Eoe says parents should take advantage of the Government’s free education policy and send their children to school to become productive in life.
He was responding to The National’s question yesterday on what measures or incentives the Government had taken to address child labour in the country.
Eoe confirmed that the number of street children had increased in the recent past with many opting for street vending and prostitution for survival.
“Elimination of child labour is one of the biggest concerns in the country, but the issue is more rampant in the urban areas than in rural areas for economic reasons,” Eoe said.
“Some of these children who are out selling things on the road and involving in other illegal activities are genuine young people, they don’t have access to educational institutions because of their economic situation – maybe because they are orphans or maybe because their parents are so poor to send them to school.
“So really, the Government is providing initiatives for all children in Papua New Guinea – that is why we have looked at free education policy in the country – education is for all our children and parents should not prevent their children from going to school.
“The Government has relieved all parents of that financial burden. They should concentrate on putting food on the table and clothing their children.”
Eoe said though it was quite difficult for some parents in the urban areas to grapple with financial situations, they should however make sacrifices to send the children to school, saying that the benefits in future would be rewarding.
“It is similar to a situation in the 1800s where a Japanese city of Nagoya was hit by a bad winter, causing food shortages. Nearby people came to their aid with six bags of (unprocessed) rice and Nagoya residents, despite all the difficulties in life, opted to plant the rice instead of eating it to satisfy their hunger.
“The result was that they had a long-term benefit and had plenty of rice after planting and harvesting.
“So, take advantage of what the Government has provided.”