By DULCIE OREKE
ELEMENTARY schools that have been charging parents school fees prior to their children starting school are going against the Education Minister’s instructions.
Education inspectors are still conducting school inspections and the Education Department has not received any information of the allegations, Education secretary Dr Joseph Pagelio said.
Dr Pagelio, however, made an appeal to schools, which might have already gone into the practice, to follow proper procedures.
Yesterday, Dr Pagelio indicated that schools charging school fees might have their own reasons but urged them to reimburse parents school fee funds as education at the elementary level was free.
He said it was an arrangement between the schools and the provincial education boards that will issue instructions depending on the nature of the case.
Dr Pagelio said the first part of the subsidies valued at about K30 million for elementary schools, would be going into the bank accounts this week.
The second portion of the subsidy (K30 milion) will be disbursed later this year.
Dr Pagelio said the funds dispersed would depend on the acquittals submitted by schools to the department, enrolment figures for the school and a five-year development plan for each school.
He also indicated yesterday that while PNG have been making progress in many areas there were still some areas that needed to improvement.
“Starting this year, it is compulsory for schools operating under the national education system to have school libraries.
“All education authorities, governing bodies, principals, head teachers, teachers and parents have been instructed to plan and establish school libraries while schools with existing facilities must improve and resource their school libraries to an exceptional standard,” Dr Pagelio said.
He said it was important because a school library was integral to the educational process of every child in school.
“I am urging school administrators and boards to give first priority in their annual budget planning to the development of library and information services.