Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP said his Government is taking an even bigger burden off the shoulders of parents by introducing the K200 million students’ tertiary loan scheme in 2020.

He said this when addressing a full-house crowd at the Pacific Adventist University (PAU) graduation at its Koiari Park Campus outside Port Moresby today. They applauded when PM Marape made the announcement.

Next year onward, we will have the students’ loan programme, he said. No more will you pay (tertiary) school fees.

As long as you have NID (national identification) and residency as a Papua New Guinean, you will go and get money for your school fees.

PM  Marape  said  parents  would  pay  50  per  cent  of  school  fees  from  elementary  to secondary school, with the Government to foot the balance, until students were ready for tertiary education.

He  said  the  money  would  be  parked  under  a  programme  known  as  HELP  –  Higher Education Loan Programme.

HELP is where we will have funding easily available to assist our students pursuing higher education.

PM Marape said he had heard many people complaining since the 2020 Budget was delivered last Thursday (28/11/19), about Government reducing funding for primary and secondary schools.

I put it back to them: Which is most-burdensome? Is it high school or primary school education, or university and college education? he said.

I think university or college education is more-burdensome – that is where we are stepping in right now.

PM Marape said those who have dropped out of Grades 8, 10 or 12 could easily be absorbed by vocational schools or SME training that would be made available.

Government wants to do all of these things, but Government alone cannot do it, he told the graduating students.

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 learnt very well as students and in spiritual upbringing here at PAU.