This post is a exact information of the public media notice by the PNG Education Dept and appeared in the printed National and Post Courier newspaper on Friday 20th December 2019.
This public notice formally announces the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy (GTFS) Policy. The Tuition Fee Freed Education Policy has been changed by Marape/Steven government and it will now be called the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy (GTFS) Policy, from 2020 and onwards.
The Marape/Steven government is profoundly convicted that education is the powerful tool that will transform and sustain our prosperity. We want to see that quality education is provided to all students irrespective of background through an affordable and sustainable policy. Hence our stand for an education system underpinned by a shared responsibility charter.
The Marape/Steven government is committed to ensure every student receives quality education under a standard based education system with a quality standard based curriculum, a 1-6-6 school structure, a robust standards assurance system and schools’ operations have sustained funding from both government and parents.
In the higher education sector, under the Higher Education Sector Loan Program (HELP), we will help assist students how come out of Grade 8,10 and 12. This means that parents will no longer have the burden of fees that are unaffordable for the majority of our people.
Government Tuition Fee Subsidy (GTFS) Policy
The Government has reviewed the TFFE policy in order to make sure parents responsible for their children’s education.
The Government is shifting the last Government’s TFF Policy to what it will be called the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy (GTFS) Policy to make education of our children a partnership between governments, parents, churches and the local communities.
We have over the last 6 years made our people lazy, detached parents from schools and systematically removed their interest in schools. We want to disengage and cut out the dependency syndrome that we have systematically allowed int our PNG culture. The shift in the school financing policy by the Marape/Steven government is deliberate to get parents and communities to plough soil and work hard, and contribute to reviving the economy and to take back PNG than creating a ‘handout culture’ and a dependency syndrome.
Papua New Guineans are naturally hard working, resilient and self-reliant. The GTFS policy will re-establish the missing link between the parents and schools while the Government will invest in raising the quality of education, building more schools and making school managers accountable.
In the 2020 budget, we have increased the budget of the school inspection system by K10 million from K1 million, increased the curriculum budget to about K30 million and examinations and assessments will receive K8 million. We will ensure a world class standards based curriculum is in place by 2020, starting with one textbook per student policy with Grade 3 to Grade 6 Science and Mathematics national textbooks and early childhood education and the schools of Excellence policies.
2020 Budget Allocation
The total budget allocation of the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy Policy (GTFS) for 2020 is K486,351,600 compared to K616,187,000 in 2019. Hence, there is only a cut of 21 percent (%) that is K129,835,400. Of the K486,351,600, the GTFS will have two components-A school Operations and Functional Grant of K388,351,600 (80% ) and a Commodity component of K98,000,000 (20%).
2020 National Education Board (NEB) Maximum Fee Limits
In 2020, parents will be contributing 36.6% of the total Maximum School Limit set by the National Education Board (NEB). The fees by sectors will be shown as shown in Table1. In Table 2, the overall estimated budget allocation for each component by sector is given.
Table 1. Student Fees Per Sector
Table 2: Overall Estimated Budget Allocation for Each Component By Sector.
Schools will be allowed to collect Project Fees, but must follow very strict approval guidelines. The Provincial Education Board is the only authority to approve project fee for schools, after it has receive SLIP Plan, the Project Plan, Scope and Budget and a P&C Association agreement. Where project fees are collected, it must be less than 20% of the Maximum Fee limit per student rate set by the National Education Board as shown in Table 3.
Table 3. Maximum Project Fee Limit for 2020
Church Agency Fees
Church agency fees are paid by each student attending a church agency school per the Education Act, 1983. Provincial Education Boards will set and approve the fees, but it must not be above the maximum limits set below:
High/Secondary and Vocational-K10.00
Education Is A Right
Every child has the right to education therefore, no school administration or governing board is to refuse any child from enrolling in school or attending classes for non-payment of any form of fees. Special arrangements can be made between the parents and the school to pay the required fees over a period in the school year.
Partnership With Provincial Governments and District Development Authorities
Five provinces (Milne Bay, Enga, Morobe,East New Britain and New Ireland) have signed MOA’s with the National Government to manage national government school fee grants/subsidies. We will honor our commitment and enhance further collaboration and partnership.
Provincial Governments and District Development Authorities are immediate authorities responsible for the education of students in the general education sector, within their respective jurisdictions. In the spirit of partnership, we urge every Provincial government and District Development Authority to help their schools, and especially parents who may struggle to pay their 36.6% component of school fees.
The Marape/Steven Government Tuition Fee Subsidy Policy will re-establish collaboration and partnership in the education of our children. The partnership will enhance quality education to all our children in Papua New Guinea.
Under the HELP , Marape/Steven Government will assist students who come out of Grade 8,10,12. We will relieve the majority of our people how have been struggling and could not afford to pay the very high tuition fees charged by higher education institutions.
We thank all parents and stakeholders for your continuous partnership in sharing the responsibility in the education of our children.
Note: For background on the policy check this post PNG Government Introduces Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) For Tertiary Studies In 2020