He said this when addressing attendees at the Pacific Adventist University’s 35th graduation at its Koiari Park Campus outside Port Moresby on Sunday (Dec 1).
“Next year onward, we will have the students’ loan program,” said the PM.
“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.”
Prime Minister Marape said parents would pay 50 percent of school fees from elementary to secondary schools, with the Government to foot the balance until students were ready for tertiary education.
He said the money would be parked under a program known as HELP – Higher Education Loan Programme – “where we will have funding easily available to assist our students pursue higher education”.
Prime Minister Marape said he had heard many complaints since the 2020 Budget was delivered last Thursday, especially 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.”
Prime Minister Marape said those who dropped out of grades 8, 10 or 12 could be easily 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 learned very well in your studies and spiritual upbringing here at PAU.”