DIVINE WORD UNIVERSITY recently had a fee crisis, especially for students with outstanding school fees of over K5,000.
With the death of the late vice-president of the university, Br Andrew Simpson, there are no funds to subsidise outstanding students like he used to do.
“During previous years, Br Simpson had a trust fund account that subsidised the outstanding fees that importunate students owed the university so that they were not expelled,” DWU2013 Students Representative Council president Philip Bosuk told a student forum.
“Now he is gone, nobody knows how he operates that trust fund to subsidise the fees. Thus, we are facing this problem, for the institution needs money to run.”
The trust fund Br Simpson created was used to assist students who would then refund the money later.
This year, 72 students at DWU were packing up to go home when, with the initiative of the SRC and the help of students, money was raised to help their brothers and sisters to continue their courses.
Two years ago we gave thanks to the O’Neill government for its initiative of free education. It is really a relief for most parents and students.
But my concern here is that the government’s idea of Education doesn’t seem to cover tertiary institutions.
I hope all those students under the free education scheme will have the opportunity to reach tertiary institutions.
Or will some be kicked out by the system because of the limited space and high fees in tertiary institutions?
If that’s so, than the policy of free education is inappropriate because all it will do is create intelligent criminals.
“More than 14,000 Grade 12 students were left out last year,” said Joel Tauko.
These drop-outs or unfortunate ones are not qualified to be considered in workforce because of their low skills.
The free education system should start at tertiary level and move downwards because tertiary is the highest level of education where pupils are prepared to go into workforce.
So instead of killing our potential workforce by not providing free education in tertiary institutions, we should provide that necessary support.
The PNG Constitution, or Mama Law, states: “We declare our second goal to be for all citizens to have an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the development of our country.”
It is a goal that has still to be met.