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PNG’s MOROBE PROVINCE PICKING UP TAB FOR STUDENTS Nearly $1 million earmarked for scholarships this year

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 9, 2009) – The Morobe Provincial Government is to spend more than PGK2.5 million [US$979,000] on its Gerson-Solulu academic scholarship program this year.

Under this scholarship, more than 700 students from Morobe will be sponsored in 14 different institutions around the country.

Scholarship officer Robert Ayang said that since the program was introduced in 2004 more than 2000 students have benefited and 1000 students have already graduated with degrees in various fields.

Mr. Ayang said the provincial government had already spent more than K10 million [US$3.9 million] on the program within the last four years under the leadership of Morobe Governor Luther Wenge.

He said Morobe students and parents were lucky because the provincial government was paying the full parental component of the school fees.

"This means even if a student is on government scholarship including TESAS (Tertiary Education Sponsorship Assistance Scheme), AES (Academic Excellence Scheme), HECAS (Higher Education Certificate Assistance Scheme) or self sponsor, parental component of the school fee is met under this scholarship," Ayang said.

He also said the scholarship was under strict guidelines and policies where students were screened before the scholarship were awarded.

"The scholarship is only awarded to the less fortunate students from the remote areas of the province.

"Students who wish to apply for the scholarship should be of Morobe and have attended high and secondary schools in the province," he said.

Ayang had called on the Office of Higher Education and the senior scholarship officer to speed up its students’ selection so that it would help them to know the exact cost of this year’s sponsorship.

He said the number of students this year would likely increase.

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:

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