‘Eua MPs proposal for government to pay school fees causes uproar in Parliament

'Oku taupotu 'i lalo ha fakamatala faka-Tonga

A heated debate erupted in Parliament today after the ‘Eua 11 MP suggested the government pay for his constituency’s students’ school fees.

MP Tevita Lavemaau told the House ‘Eua parents had been in financial difficulties since tropical cyclone Gita devastated Tongatapu and ‘Eua in February.

MP Lavemaau was insistent in his argument and was supported by ‘Eua noble MP Lord Nuku, who said their constituents had contacted him about the issue.

The Minister of Education said he had yet to receive any contact from ‘Eua parents regarding any difficulties in paying their children’s school fees.

The Minister said the government could only help parents who were unable to pay their school fees.

The House finally agreed to pass the proposal on  to the government, but according to a document seen by Kaniva news this afternoon, the Acting Attorney General told Parliament it could not decide what the government should do.

The Minister of Police told us the Pohiva government had increased the government subsidy to non-government schools from $400 per student to $700.

He said the government has allocated TP$7 million for the subsidy in its 2018-2019 budget.

Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu said nothing had been allocated in the budget to pay for school fees in the way Hon. Lavemaau had proposed.

The Acting Attorney General said it was the legal responsibility of the Minister of Education and Cabinet to decide whether or not to charge fees.

The Attorney General said the main duty of Parliament included passing legislation, appropriation laws, electing the Prime Minister, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament and approving reports from government.

The parliament also has the power to impeach and penalise a Minister or Members of Parliament.

The main points

  • A heated debate erupted in Parliament today after the ‘Eua 11 MP suggested the government pay for his constituency’s students’ school fees.
  • MP Tevita Lavemaau told the House ‘Eua parents had been in financial difficulties since tropical cyclone Gita devastated Tongatapu and ‘Eua in February.
  • The Acting Attorney General said it was up to the Minister of Education and Cabinet to decide whether or not to charge fees.

1 COMMENT

  1. Ki’i lauta e Fale Alea’ he fokotu’u mo e poupou ‘a e fakafofonga ‘Eua ‘o pehē ke totongi ‘e he pule’anga’ e ako ‘a e fanau ‘Eua’.

    Ne iku tali ke ‘ave fokotu’u ki he pule’anga’ ka ‘i ha fakahinohino ‘a e `’Ateni Seniale le’ole’o na’a’ ne pehē ‘oku ‘ikai ha mafai ‘o e Fale Alea ke ne tu’utu’uni atu ki he kapineti ha me’a ke ne fai.

    Na’a’ ne toe pehē ko e mafai ki he totongi pe ikai totongi ako ko e me’a ia ‘a e minisitā ako’ mo e kapineti’.

    Pehē ‘e he minisitā polisi kuo ‘osi hiki ‘e he pule’anga ‘o ‘Akilisi Pōhiva’ ‘a e tokoni ‘a e pule’anga’ ki he ngaahi ako ‘ikai ‘a e pule’anga’ mei he pa’anga ‘e $400 ki he $700 ki he fo’i ‘ulu.

    Na’a’ ne toe pehē foki ‘oku ‘ikai ha pa’anga ia he patiseti’ ki ha totongi ako ‘o hangē ko ia ko e fokotu’u ‘a Fakafofonga Tēvita Lavemaau pea poupou ki ai ‘a Looti Nuku’.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here