Secondary and TVET boarding schools in New Ireland face food shortage

Tuesday, 14 May 2024, 4:14 pm

A school in New Ireland Province undergoing a curriculum reform in 2021 (New Ireland Provincial Government News)

Schools in New Ireland Province have closed due to nonpayment of Government Tuition Fee Free Subsidy for term two.

A total of 11 secondary schools and five TVET boarding schools are badly affected by the shortage of food rations.

Despite the Government’s Tuition fee subsidy ready for term two, that has not reached schools, thus classes are suspended, until further notice.

It is week 5 of term two and Chief Executive Officer, of Social Sector Education, Benson Apelis says, that schools have run out of rations since last week, thus cannot continue classes.

Most secondary schools are level 9 with up to 1,000 students per school.

That means up to 500 students are boarding and on average, schools spend up to 50,000 Kina on food costs alone in a month. The schools have been given five days suspension, whilst the education division solicits some support from the government and other sources.

The CEO says, “So we will wait for them. Suppose the government can come along and help schools blo yumi. But because of the stress that our schools are going through, as of Monday 13th, most of our schools have closed.”