The government will be introducing the K200 million students’ tertiary loan scheme in 2020 to relieve parents of paying school fees.
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape said this when addressing the Pacific Adventist University (PAU) graduation at its Koiari Park Campus outside Port Moresby on Sunday, 1 December 2019.
“Next year onward, we will have the students’ loan programme. No more will you pay (tertiary) school fees.”
Mr Marape explained the criteria in accessing the students’ loan programme: “as long as you have an NID (national identification) and residency as a Papua New Guinean, you will go and get money for your school fees.”
Parents will be paying 50 per cent of school fees from elementary to secondary school, with the Government paying another 50 percent, until students enter tertiary education.
Funds would be managed under a programme known as Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP), where funding will be accessed by students to pursue higher education.
Mr Marape has dismissed complaints from critics over next year’s reduction in funding for primary and secondary education, adding that primary or high school are less burdensome than university and college education.
“I think university or college education is more-burdensome: that is where we are stepping in right now.”
Mr Marape further assured students who drop out of Grades 8, 10 or 12, that they could be easily absorbed by vocational schools or Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) training that would be made available.
“Government wants to do all of these things, but government alone cannot do it.
“Government and your country need an army of responsible citizens, who are out there making it happen for our country.
“I am sure I am speaking to an army of good citizens who have learned very well in your students, and spiritual upbringing here at PAU.”
Meanwhile, Mr Marape said he was creating an avenue to address quality education for all school children in primary, and secondary schools in the country as well as those who leave school.
“That is something we want to pick up through the Higher Education Loan Programme facility.