Marape praises enrolment rate increase on policy

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday February 11th, 2014

 THE enrolment rate in schools this year increased by 4% from last year, acting Education Minister James Marape says.

He told the National Leaders Summit in Port Moresby that the gross enrollment rate this year was 78%.

He described that as a result of the Government’s free education policy.

“Provincial education advisors need to take stock of actual data of how many students are being enrolled to assist the department with its budgetary preparation,” he said.

Marape announced that starting next year, there would only be two classes at the elementary level.

He said Grade One would be brought back into the primary school level while Grade Seven and Eight would be brought back into the secondary school level.

He said by 2015, school children should begin at elementary level until they reached Grade Twelve which would be the point of exit. 

It means that there will be no dropouts in between. He said a child must spend two years at elementary, six years in primary and another six in secondary level.

He called on provincial and district governments to prioritise chool infrastructure in their budgets.

He said K652 million was allocated last year for the tuition fee-free education but nothing was put aside for infrastructure development.

He said the department wanted to see that 20% of the funds going to provinces and districts for free education be rechanneled to education infrastructure.

Marape appreciated the fact that provincial governments and districts were supporting their students through sponsorship. 

He urged them to use 20% of their district services improvement programme funds, public service improvement programme funds and local level government services improvement programme funds for education infrastructure.