In Goilala District, primary schools can be categorised into three different groups. These groups are:
1. Operational Schools
2. Non-Operational Schools
3. Closed Schools.
The 4th group is “Ghost schools” or Paper Schools”. But this 4th group isn’t the crux of this article. We will revisit that in a later date.
1. OPERATIONAL SCHOOLS.
Operational Schools are schools that have teachers posted to every year and have students attending school in a academic calender year.
Operational schools are planned for by the GoPNG throught its National Department of Education [NDoE] in their budgetary allocations via its Provincial Government’s education divisions.
These means that whatever funding/subsidies that gets allocated to these schools are expected to find its way to these schools to be utilised for its accademic year administration and management of the school. There is nothing wrong with such a school.
2. NON OPERATIONAL SCHOOLS.
The problem props up when a school is a Non Operational.
Non Operational schools are schools that are closed from Goilala people’s point of view – on the ground. But from the Provincial and National Department of Education point of view, these schools are open or Operating schools.
Just as a “Operational School” budget allocations are done for these schools and pushed down the channel.
When these fund/subsidies reach Central Provincial Education division, it is unknown if these funds are still pushed further down to the District’s Education Division or not – Knowing that these schools are no longer operating. No Teacher on site. No students attending school.
But if these funds does get to the District’s Educational Division, then where does there funds go to from there? Because obviously, the schools these subsidies/funds are allocated to is “CLOSED”.
Closed schools are schools which were once open. But are no longer open these days. The problem with these schools is, who is responsible to have them re-opened? How do we have these closed schools re-opened? What is the correct process and procedure to follow to have such closed schools re-opened?
There is also another problem that rises out of these closed schools. To the people of Goilala, a schools is CLOSED. Because they live in close proximity to the school grounds. But to the Provincial Education Authority, these schools are OPEN hence when Teacher postings are done at the start of a school year, some teachers are posted to these “CLOSED SCHOOLS”.
This action literally means, a Teacher is registered as a employee of Education Department, and gets paid every fortnight for doing NOTHING.
Funding allocated for all schools from National Education Department when approved and paid out, is there a monitoring process in place to ensure these allocated funds reach the schools?
For Non-Operational Schools, what happpens to their funding? Does the NDoE recoups the money and re-allocate to other schools?
For the Closed schools, who makes the recommendation for a closed school to be re-open? Is it the People? Or is it the District’s education division? Or the agnecy incharge of education in Goilala?
How about the Open Member? Does the MP for Goilala have any say in there as well?
When a school re-opens, does it automatically gets its funding allocated? Or are there criteria and procedures/conditions that a recently re-opened schools has to meet before funding is allocated?
The 3 categories identified here are just a generalised groupings. There are ghost schools in existence as well.
Is there someone giving a yearly status update on our Goilala District schools which forms the basis of budget allocations year in, year out?
What’s posted here is my layman, noneducationalist view point. Am no teacher, nor am I an employee of the Education system of PNG at any level.
I stand ready to be corrected. I also stand ready to be criticized.
Either way, this is my opinion. What is yours?