The National- Friday, February 4, 2011
By VERONICA FRANCIS
School fee is the main problem all parents in rural and urban centres face nowadays with the high cost of living.
However, for parents in Chimbu they were fortunate with the introduction of a scheme in which fresh produce and livestock were given to the schools as payment for school fees for their children.
According to Chimbu Governor Fr John Garia, the scheme was successful and had been running for two years.
This year will be the third year, adding the schools and especially parents were very cooperative.
He said it was difficult for parents to meet the standard required fee upfront, therefore the scheme allowed them to bring vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, greens and livestock such as pigs and cows to the schools in exchange for school fees.
Garia said the vegetables and livestock were weighed and charged at a normal retail price against the school fees.
He added that parents could bring in supplies over time until they meet the required amount.
“This scheme has worked successfully for both the parents and the school. The schools run all year and have surplus at the end while the parents are not burdened to look for cash,” he said.
Garia said that Chimbu had the lowest school fee rate because of good management.
“Most schools in the province have no management problems and the records are good because they do quarterly checks to make sure everything is running smoothly,” he said.
He said the idea was to maintain the strength of human resource, adding that sometimes students missed out and did not further their education because of school fee problems.
Garia said that with no natural resource to dwell on, Chimbu focused on developing its human resource and would continue to do so.