Posted By Staff Reporter
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill has raised serious concerns about parents using children as a source of income on streets of the country and not attending school.
He said the government is looking at taking some tough measures to discourage parents as well as school aged kids hanging around the streets harassing traffic and people for money.
"This government has introduced free education for all school age children to be in the classroom. They should not be hanging around the streets. They should be in classrooms," the Prime Minister said.
He said the reason why the O’Neill-Dion government introduced the free education policy was to capture kids that are roaming around aimlessly on streets around the country.
"I know that there are incidences of kids without parents and we are working closely with the community organisations like the City Mission who are taking in many of the street kids," he said.
"We are urging them (community organisations) to contact our officials at the Office of Community Development so that we can take stock of them and help them settle into many of the groups that we are working with.
"I also think that we have to discourage some of the parents using those kids to be on the streets working and continue to use as a source of income, we have never done this in this country before, we all as a community must discourage."
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said many of the street kids have parents sitting on the side encouraging them to harass traffic and people walking on the street.
"I think it’s important now that we clear up many of them so they all can go to school, we must get our education officials to start encouraging kids to start coming to school."
Leader of Government Business and Finance Minister James Marape during his reign as Education Minister earlier this year, was pushing for compulsory education with provisions to penalize parents whose kids are roaming the streets and not in a classroom.
Last week, Education Minister Nick Kuman announced that compulsory education will start next year.
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