Prime Minister Marape Celebrates Success of STEM Students Heading to U.S. Universities

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape proudly announces that 43 exceptional students from the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme at the six national schools of excellence have been accepted into universities in the USA. Among 55 originally selected, 12 students have chosen to continue their university studies in Papua New Guinea, bringing the total to 43 students embarking on this exciting journey.

Nurtured at the Sogeri, Kerevat, Aiyura, Passam, Port Moresby, and Wawin national schools of excellence, these bright students are set to depart for the USA next week, supported by Papua New Guinea Government scholarships.

Prime Minister Marape’s pivotal role in establishing the six national schools of excellence becomes evident as these students, under the flagship STEM programme, prepare to contribute to global education and innovation. The successful journey of these students underscores Papua New Guinea’s steadfast commitment to nurturing intellectual growth.

On Thursday, August 10, 2023, Prime Minister Marape personally handed over passports, visas, and university documents to the 43 students, 15 of whom are female, during a special event held in Port Moresby. The historic occasion was attended by Education Minister Hon. Jimmy Uguro, Education Secretary Dr. Uke Kombra, principals of the six national schools of excellence, parents, and Department of Education staff.

These talented students have been accepted into various universities in the USA, including South Dakota State University and Nicholls State University. Their fields of study range from mechanical engineering and biochemistry to computer software engineering and petroleum technology.

Addressing the students, Prime Minister Marape emphasised their importance to Papua New Guinea and encouraged them to seize the opportunity before them.

“You were chosen among many, and I congratulate each and every one of you,” he affirmed.

“Do not underestimate the significance of this opportunity bestowed upon you by your nation. You are trailblazers, paving the way for younger Papua New Guineans. America offers boundless opportunities – make the most of them while staying true to yourselves.”

Acknowledging the collective effort that made this achievement possible, Prime Minister Marape expressed gratitude to Education Minister Uguro, Secretary Dr. Kombra, and the dedicated team at the Department of Education. He also extended appreciation to those working behind the scenes, including Dr. Clement Waine, who played a key role in integrating STEM into the national schools of excellence curriculum.

The Prime Minister assured the principals of the national schools of excellence of continued support for the next decade, ensuring the influx of the best Grade 10 students from across the country. This approach aims to elevate the quality of Grade 12 students, both for domestic and international university admissions, thereby reinforcing the robustness of the programme.

“As we embark on this journey to support students in specialised areas and enhance our human capital, I commend Minister Uguro, Secretary Dr. Kombra, and the entire Department of Education team. This initiative marks a significant milestone for Papua New Guinea,” stated Prime Minister Marape.

“Our commitment to the programme’s growth remains steadfast as we look ahead.”