TUESDAY 2 July 2019

PNG’s Education Planning Disaster

Thankyou Mr Speaker,

Mr Speaker, my questions without notice are with regard to the education sector and how the failures of funding this sector continues.

Mr Speaker, my questions are directed to the new Minister for National Planning and Monitoring who, of course was also the old Planning Minister in the O’Neill regime.

  1. First, could you please confirm that as the Minister responsible for producing the Medium-Term Development Plan Three (MTDP III), a plan so riddled with errors that even the Post Courier editorial asked that it be withdrawn, that you endorsed the following analysis on page 41 Volume 2 in the plan that you signed off on “With the implementation of the TFF policy schools have had to accommodate the increasing number of students with the available resources resulting in; (a) increase in the number of students per class causing students teacher ratio to increase, (b) severe shortage of learning resources for students to use, (c) inadequate existing learning facilities to cater for the increases, and (d) most importantly decline in the quality of learning.” Could you please confirm as set out in your MTDPIII that you consider PNC’s education policies were failing?
  2. Second, could the Minister confirm that while he was Minister for National Planning and Monitoring in 2018 and had a critical role in sectoral planning that funding for the education was slashed from K1,185.5 million in the 2018 Budget down to only K600.6 million as revealed by Table 26 in the recent Final Budget Outcome (FBO), a cut of an extraordinary 49%?
  3. Third, could the Minister for Planning confirm the figures in the Treasurer’s most recent Statement that TTF funding for the first five months of 2019 was only K210 million, a cut of K49 million from what was planned, a continuation of the cuts in 2018, a cut that is forcing so many of our schools to be closing early?
  4. Finally, can the Minister for Planning indicate what actions he is taking to address the critical issue of the declining quality of learning in PNG given that education expenditure looks as if it is being slashed again in 2019 under on-going PNC policies despite the new Prime Minister saying no child will be left behind?

Thank you Mr Speaker



2 July 2019