A Spotlight article released by the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI) found that low-income families received the greatest financial benefits from the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) Policy. The findings included that families in the low-income group have seen improvements in their financial conditions as a result of the TFF Policy.

The author of “Benefits of the Tuition Fee Free Policy as perceived by Port Moresby residents”, Thomson Honga, who was a Project Research Officer with the PNG NRI’s Property Sector Development Research Program, stated that the policy benefits poor, disadvantaged, and low-income families and has the potential to positively impact many households.

The TFF Policy is a free education program introduced by the Government of PNG (GoPNG) in 2012 with the aim to increase access to quality basic and secondary education for all school-aged children throughout the country.

The policy is an important social support program established to improve literacy levels and increase skilled workforce which are positive indicators for social development in the country.

Its primary aim is to increase student enrolment, retention and quality of education as well as to lessen financial burden of low-income families.

However, it seems that the TFF Policy did not go far in sustaining quality of education. This shortfall has been attributed to poor school facilities, high teacher-student ratios and lack of proper monitoring and evaluation of the policy.

Low-income families have the potential to receive the greatest benefit from the TFF Policy.

Therefore, GoPNG should consider continuing this program as it has the potential to benefit most households in PNG. It is imperative that the Government improve facilities for learning, increase the number of teachers and provide proper monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the TFF Policy. 

The report can be accessed on the PNG NRI website: https://www.pngnri.org/ and/or you can follow its social media pages:

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