EDUCATION Minister James Marape has urged parents to start planning now for school fees for their children after Grade Nine.
Mr Marape was speaking during the launch of the Universal Basic Education plan (UBE) 2010-19 in Port Moresby last Friday.
He said the National Government had embarked on yet another landmark initiative to provide nine years of basic education for all school-aged children in PNG.
“Parents, it is your paramount duty to provide the best care and education for your children as they will lead this country after us,” Mr Marape said.
He told them not to wait for the Government to take over all of their parental responsibility to give their children quality education.
“The Government or the donor partners of the UBE plan are not there when you made the decision to start a family; so make it your rightful responsibility to take care of that child from conception through to school and adulthood,” he said.
Unicef PNG representative Thazin Oo attended the launch of behalf of development partners including the governments of Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and the United Nations, European Commission and the World Bank.
Mrs Oo said the main objective of the development partners in the UBE plan 2010-19 was to support the Education Department to achieve education sector goals in terms of improved access to and quality of education sector services, in line with the Millennium Development Goals and the PNG Commitment on Aid Effectiveness.
However, the critical challenge was their implementation, translating ideas into action and financing, she said.
“The total UBE budget is K16.8 billion over a period of 10 years with a cumulative funding gap of K4.6 billion. This is equivalent to 27.4% of the total plan cost.”
She said the partners were happy to be associated with the UBE plan since it was a holistic document that addressed the entire basic education sub-sector with five central pillars: enhancing access, increasing retention, improving quality, improving management and enhancing equity.