The Minister for Education Nick Kuman, has raised concerns regarding the early closure of the Waigani Christian College as reported by The National Newspaper on page 5, on Monday, 11th August.
Minister Kuman said, "I am deeply concerned, about the way the processes of granting approval and regulatory requirements were not strictly followed and met in a timely manner by the College and agency."
“I wrote to the College Director expressing my concerns for establishing the College in 2014 to offer Grades 9 and 10 while at the same time sorting out its registration, teacher admission and readmission as member of the Teaching Service Commission, school curriculum, adequacy of school classrooms and School Board of Governors."
There are strict procedures and protocols that must be adhered to when registering a school to become a permitted educational facility. In this case, all formalities to register this specific college should have been completed one year in advance.
In this case, the college management should have submitted all relevant documentation to seek registration in 2013 for the college to commence enrollments and begin operation in 2014.”
“The Department of Education has paid K500,000 earlier this year as part of a one-off payment of tuition fee free for 2014 while the payment for 2015 will be subjected to meeting other compulsory standard requirements under the TFF Policy Guideline.”
Minister Kuman further commented saying, "The College is not a National Education System school and like all other privately operated schools, salaries for their teachers are paid for by the proprietors. Importantly, The Department of Education will continue to enforce strict compliance of standards to privately run education institutions across PNG."
Minister Kuman used this case to warn those who are operating private schools or are planning to start up private schools to consult the Department of Education about the set processes and procedures to follow to register their schools as Permitted Schools to avoid problems.
“Those private schools which are operating without registration re: operating illegally. I encourage the owners of these schools to contact the General Education Services Division of the Department of Education for more information on registering a school and correcting the non-compliance. We are working to clean up the operations of all schools across PNG, with the aim of improving our children’s education with correct educational standards and administration processes.” said Minister Kuman
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