BY : Post Courier
Compulsory and subsidised school fees
Opposition and THE Party leader Don Polye will scrap the free education policy and slash the district services improvement program (DSIP) when elected as Prime Minister.
THE party, when it gets into government, will introduce a compulsory and subsidised education scheme for parents to pay some fees from elementary to Grade 12 and National Government to pay for University education.
“The policy that I we’ll be driving will be called ‘compulsory education and subsidise’ education, we have got to be realistic, the policy will be compulsory, meaning that every parent will have a duty to bring their child to school, that means if you have 10 children you will have a problem, because it will be that by law if you don’t bring your child to school, the law will put you behind bars for negligence.” Mr Polye said
“It is ownership and responsibility, so parents will have to pay some fees, the government will subsidise, we must build the country together, so I am not going to be scared about that.
“I will make it compulsory for school, and second is for parents to pay from elementary to grade 12, but the one from technical and universities I want to take responsibility to pay to develop the skills of those in tertiary institutions.
He said the current free education policy has failed.
Mr Polye also promised to slash the district services improvement program (DSIP) funding of K10 million by half.
“DSIP K10 million, I think is too much money, I will be working with the Auditor General Report that there is no proper reporting done and monies have been misused and abused.
“I don’t want to feed political convenienc but to grow the country’s economy, I will slash it down from K10 million to K5 million, increase K1 million to all the LLGs instead of K100,000 that they have been given now for building capacity on the ground.
Mr Polye said in his First 100-days in office he will make radical public sector and legislative reforms including the abolishing of the Office of the Chief Secretary, abolishing and merging of Government Departments and sale of 10.01 per cent stake in Oil Search and shut down the LNG account in Singapore to improving the cash flow in the country.
Maintain current TFF policy
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says his Government will maintain the key policies of his government including the free education and the DSIP allocations.
But he said they will expand further on them including the establishment of an education endowment fund and an Agriculture development fund.
In response to the Opposition leaders party policy he said: “The key to development in our country is education, together with the delivery of services and the building of infrastructure direct to rural and remote communities.
“With an educated population we advance our nation, we create a smarter and more capable workforce, and our families will have more jobs and run more small businesses.”
Mr O’Neill added that: “If he had his way, Mr Polye would remove one million children from school. Words cannot describe how foolish and destructive his proposed policy would be for our country.
“I hope all parents around the country take note of this, and rest assured that under a PNC-led government the education of your children is safe. There are now more than two million children in our schools, an additional one million more than when we came to office.
“Most of these additional million children are girls who never had a chance of an education before our Government was elected.
“We are proud of the Tuition Fee Free policy that our Government has delivered and will continue to deliver.
“Further, through our DSIP and PSIP policy, we have delivered more than six Billion Kina in development funding to the provinces and districts.
“We are taking decision making and spending responsibility away from Waigani and giving this back to the people at a local level.
“This will not be cut under a PNC-led government, and we will further extend this through the creation of Ward Services Improvement Programs so we can provide even more control to our grassroots.
“The policies announced by the THE Party Leader today would send our country backwards.