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Bougainville Education Board and ABG Ministry and Department of Education clarify position on 2024 school fees

In light of the Press Release by the National Minister for Education stating that ‘no school fees or project fees are to be charged by schools in the National Education System in 2024, this is the Bougainville Education Ministry, Bougainville Education Board (BEB) and Education Department Position on 2024 School fees being imposed by the BEB:

In accordance with section 19 (I) (e) (i) (ii) of the Bougainville Education Act 2013, the Bougainville Education Board (BEB) is mandated to establish maximum school fee limits on an annual basis, mirroring the practice of the National Education Board (NEB). This measure aims to foster parental involvement and responsibility in contributing to their children's education.

It has come to our attention that many of our schools have been facing financial challenges due to underpayment by the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy (GTFS) program. To address this issue, the fees paid by parents play a crucial role in supporting our schools, enabling them to operate effectively until the end of the academic year.

Furthermore, the cost of goods and services in the Bougainville region is significantly higher compared to the rest of Papua New Guinea. As a result, the current GTFS funding is inadequate, particularly for our High/Secondary & Vocational Schools, necessitating additional financial support from parents.

It is important to note that school boards retain the authority to establish minimum fee limits. For instance, Elementary schools can set fee limits of K60per annum, provided that they do not exceed the maximum BEB Fee limit of K120. This approach applies across all other sectors as well, ensuring a fair and balanced fee structure.

In light of the challenges faced by our schools, it is essential to highlight that during the previous year, the region experienced various disasters, resulting in financial shortages for our educational institutions by the end of Term 3.

In reality, a significant number of parents do not pay school fees, relying solely on the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy (GTFS) program for their children's education.

Ultimately, the objective is to prepare our people for independence by promoting sustainable practices in education. The annual BEB fee limits, in conjunction with the GTFS program, serve as a means to achieve this goal.

We hope that this statement provides clarity on the reasons behind the Bougainville Education Board's decision set annual school fee limits in addition to the GTFS program.

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