Minister for Education Hon. Jimmy Uguro, MP has said that education is a shared responsibility and has called on all parents to support their children in school.
Mr. Uguro said this while speaking at the official opening of the 30th Senior Education officers’ Conference in Kiunga on Monday morning.
“In order to become a pilot, a doctor or a factory worker, you must first go through a ‘factory’ called the education system. This factory moulds and shapes a human being,” he said.
“Education is a very important priority for our Government. To our parents, once we enroll our children at school, we must not forget all about them and depend on our teachers for everything.
Education begins at home. I urge all our parents to feed our children properly every morning before they leave for school. When they are at school, you must also check to see if they are okay.
The Minister said that parents must not have high expectations of their children when it comes to graduations and end of year award presentations when they don’t provide the best support for their children. “It is only during this times when you will really know the true value of education.”
The Minister was pleased to see the full turnout by the leadership in the province. “It is very rare I see Governors and Open Members working together or all turning up for a national event such as this. This shows that education in Western Province is paramount.
Mr. Uguro said that the Marape/Basil Government has made education top priority and that is why last year and this year it subsidized fees for students by paying 62% and parents paid 38%.
“I am proud to announce the Marape Government’s vision and commitment to pay the full 100% of school fees for all our children next year. The Government will ensure that this is budgeted for in this year’s Supplementary Budget before the year ends.
The Minister said that the current Government wants to see every child in school come next year. This year also the Government provided for a fee-free FODE Program intended to give young people a second and equal opportunity to complete their education.
“If you are a school leaver doing nothing, I call on you to go and enroll in a FODE Centre close to you and complete your education. I would like to see our students in FODE have access to the same types of lessons as our students in the conventional system and the same goes for the teachers.”
The Minister called on all education officials at the national, provincial and district levels to work together to implement the National Education Plan 2020-2029 in order to achieve results for students throughout the country.
“It is our Government’s vision not to leave any child behind. There will not be any dropouts from grades 8 and 10 but students will still sit for the national examinations to prove their academic proficiencies and selections to tertiary institutions.”
The Minister challenged parents to provide the best start for their children at an early age at home and they will reap the rewards when their children reaches grade 12.