Transporting materials still a challenge


SCHOOLS will still face challenges with transporting materials despite policy changes to give procurement powers to the provinces and districts, an education official in Morobe says.
Finance Department representative Joseph Gora held an awareness session in Lae last week on the revised Government tuition fee subsidy (GTFS) policy to be implemented next year.
He said from the 20 per cent commodity component under GTFS funds, 15 per cent would return to provinces and districts to procure teaching and learning materials while five per cent remained with the department for science laboratory and specialised equipment.
Gora said this 15 per cent was about K73 million of the total GTFS budget of K486 million.
He said provincial administrations were responsible for all provincial high, secondary schools and schools of excellence while district administrations would look after primary and elementary schools.
Gora said in the previous arrangement where procurement powers laid with the department, materials were either delivered late or never reached remote schools.
He said under the new arrangement, local businesses with better local knowledge and connections could be contracted, benefiting schools as well as stimulating local economies.
Gora said there would be no management and administration fees charged or deducted from the commodity component.
School inspector Kwinda Trenian while welcoming the news of decentralisation said that there would still be issues, especially for remote schools.
He called on the Government to re-consider adding 10 per cent to the rural schools to cover added transportation and distribution.