The National, Friday 15th February, 2013
By GABRIEL FITO
ALL primary and secondary school head teachers and boards of management in East Sepik have been warned not to send students home for failing to pay project fees.
Correctional Service Minister and Wewak MP Jim Simatab said there should be no threat, harassment or intimidation as well on the pupils regarding project fees as directed by the prime minister and his cabinet last week.
“Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has said it loud and clear that any head teacher or board of management member who demands an upfront payment of project fee, which the National Executive Council has set at not more than K200, automatically disqualifies himself as a teacher or board member,” Simatab said.
“So I warn you all teachers and board members to mind your words.
“This is a government directive and you will be sacked from your position just by opening your mouth,” Simatab told a huge gathering at Turubu in his Wewak electorate this week.
He clarified that the project fee was not to be paid upfront or with condition but flexibility should be exercised for parents to pay this fee over time.
Meanwhile, high and secondary schools in East Sepik were reportedly charging between K500 and K1,200 project fees but attempts by The National to obtain comments from provincial education adviser Joseph Auli for the past two days were not successful.
The Milne Bay provincial government is also warning schools to allow students attend classes.