Prime Minister Hon. James Marape Announces Continued Expansion of STEM Scholarship Programme and International Opportunities for Grade 12 Students

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today confirmed the continuation and expansion of the groundbreaking Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) scholarship programme. The initiative, spearheaded by the Prime Minister, has proven successful, with 43 exceptional students from the STEM programme at the six national schools of excellence – Sogeri, Kerevat, Aiyura, Passam, Port Moresby, and Wawin – securing placements in American universities through Papua New Guinea Government-funded scholarships.

The announcement underscores the government’s dedication to fostering education and creating international opportunities for Papua New Guinea’s talented youth.

Prime Minister Marape, instrumental in establishing the six national schools of excellence and the STEM programme, disclosed the government’s commitment to furthering educational opportunities following an extensive meeting with Education Secretary, Dr. Uke Kombra. The discussions focused on the outcomes of the Department of Education in 2023 and set priorities for 2024.

These talented students, currently pursuing diverse fields such as mechanical engineering, biochemistry, computer software engineering, and petroleum technology, are now enrolled at South Dakota State University and Nicholls State University in the USA.

Education Secretary Kombra conveyed that the existing STEM students are excelling in their studies in the USA, prompting the allocation of K10 million for the STEM scholarship programme this year.

“We are proud of our Grade 12 STEM students, who represent the cream of our educational system. Their success in the USA showcases their international caliber,” stated Prime Minister Marape.

The Prime Minister also revealed plans to explore scholarship opportunities for STEM Grade 12 school leavers in other countries, including Hungary, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and more. Last year, Indonesia extended 2,000 scholarships to Papua New Guinea students, with non-STEM Grade 12 school leavers being considered for this programme. Prime Minister Marape emphasised Papua New Guinea’s commitment to matching every scholarship offered by Indonesia, doubling the opportunities for young people.

“I want every child who has completed Grade 12, whether through Flexible Open Distance Education (FODE) or the regular system, to have opportunities for further education,” Prime Minister Marape affirmed.