O’Neill: New task force to collect vital school data

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 12th February, 2013

A TASK force will be set up to collect vital school and health data throughout PNG, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told parliament last week.
O’Neill said the Department of Education had been operating on an ad-hoc basis without proper database.
“The Education Department has no data, it’s a guessing exercise they have been operating. They do not know how many schools are there, number of students enrolled and the number of teachers. Their records are not correct as many teachers who left teaching are still on the payroll,” he said.
After realising the failure of the department, O’Neill said the government had decided to set up a task force that would collect and compile the data.
He said K100,000 would be allocated for each of the 89 districts and their education authorities would facilitate the programme in consultation with their local MPs.
“We are putting K100,000 each to the districts to collect data that will also extend to health. The K100,000 is very important because we need to plan well for our children,” he said.
The prime minister also warned head teachers, board of governors and provincial education boards that the government had set a maximum of K200 for project fees.
He said changes in these fees were unwarranted as it put unnecessary pressure on parents and guardians.
“The limit is K200, any disobedience will not be tolerated and therefore I urge parents not to pay any more than K200,” O’Neill said.
“They (parents) can pay now or later and any disobedience should be reported immediately.”