A Port Moresby conference has looked at how school fees can be abolished for PNG children. Education Secretary, Dr Joseph Pagelio, said children have the right to education but school fees pose a major barrier. He added, however, that it "might take a few years" before school fees were done away with. On my recent visit to PNG, it was abundantly clear that fees are preventing many kids from attending school at all and driving many others out before high school. Cash is always short in villages, especially in remote locations where people are engage in a constant struggle to find ways to earn money.

In the Trobriand Islands, for example, I spoke with one man who held the very pragmatic view that his kids would not go to high school unless they finished at the very top of their class. It simply would not be a worthwhile investment. Access to education is creating a significant gap between the new PNG 'middle class', who have paid employment or live in the big towns, and other Papua New Guineans. This is a prime example of an area where, with not many aid dollars, Australia could give a lot of PNG kids a real leg up.


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Sproks Walker

Could I have the current working email address of Dr. Joseph Pagelio please ?? I tried some that I picked from goggle search but the my emails are not going through.
Thank you and I hope you will help.

Sproks Walker

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