By ELIZABETH VUVU
ENROLMENT of pupils at elementary schools in East New Britain this year has increased due to the National Government’s free education policy.
Most parents who were trying to enroll their children early this year were being turned away as most schools began enrolment mid last year.
This was the case for three schools in Kokopo town including Anglicare Elementary School, Vunapope Elementary School and SDA Butuwin Elementary School.
Teacher-in-charge of Vunapope Elementary, Sr Celestine Herman said the total number of students enrolled for prep was more than 120 pupils, which had increased from last year and these students would be separated into two classes.
She said apart from 120, there was also another reserve list for students on standby for enrollment next year.
Sr Celestine said parents were being advised to pay their children’s school fees, which were K100 across the board, and not rely on the free education as the schools needed money to operate and also they were not sure when the National Government’s policy would bear fruit.
At the Anglicare Elementary School, there was a sign posted on a tree near the gate saying “No more enrolment, spaces are full”.
Teacher-in-charge, Helen Kaoa, said they received the memo from the Education Department on the free education policy last Tuesday but had advised parents to pay up their children’s school fees of K100.
The school last year enrolled 233 students but she said this number was likely to increase this year and they were planning to establish another prep class.
Reports from the SDA Butuwin Elementary School said there was an influx of students,200 maximum, and enrollment was more than what was expected.
Parents did not take heed of the free education policy paying up K150 across the board.