Sunday, October 06, 2019

PM Marape announces major tertiary loan scheme

Prime Minister James Marape has announced a major loan scheme for tertiary students.

He made the announcement in front of hundreds of students, staff and the community of University of Technology in Lae on Thursday (Oct 3, 2019).

Prime Minister James Marape addressing students at University of Technology.

Prime Minister Marape meeting hundreds of students at University of Technology after an inspiring speech.

There is, however, one catch: Parents of students must be involved in agriculture.

Marape said the loan scheme was a “signature policy” of the 2020 Budget to be handed down next month.

“I know many of you, just like me, come from family backgrounds where parents are struggling to ensure you have school fees to support you through your tertiary education,” he said.

Marape said 99 per cent of parents in the country were struggling to pay tertiary school fees for their children.

“We want to embark on a loan scheme that is that is interest-free and will take your lifetime to be paid,” he said.

“You don’t need to burden your parents.

“From existing resource envelope, we will rearrange.

“Help me to lobby parents nationwide.

“The burden that is most felt is not really school fee of elementary school kids, it’s not really school fee of primary school, I’m sure parents can afford K100.

“When I was going through school, my parents put me through the Seventh Day Adventist system, they paid a lot to send me to school as simple villager, it came out of mother selling her buns and working her gardens.

“Mother selling in the market put me through grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12.

“Fortunately, at university, I received a K13 allowance from Government.

“It’s not so burdensome at elementary school, primary school and high school.”

Marape said the Government would shift some of the resources allocated to free education to tertiary level.

“Those of you formally engaged in universities and colleges, those who are doing external programmes to earn meaningful engagement in life, those who want to go for further education overseas, will have a loan programme to ensure that students can come to Government, go to school,” he said.

“In the course of your life, if you are living for 100 years you pay off over 100 years, if you live for 20 years you pay off over 20 years, if you live for 30-40 years you can repay the money the Government lent you through the endowment fund programme we will set up to assist Papua New Guinea kids carry on in education.”

There is, however, an agriculture catch.

“The catch is this: In the context of growing the economy, Government will work with the commodity boards and the districts and provinces, to ensure seedlings are accessible to parents right across our country,” Marape said.

“Coffee seedlings, cocoa seedlings, copra seedlings, cabbage seedlings.

“Last time I went to the Sogeri mountains, they grow a lot of good produce, and I’m telling all Koiaris up there in the Sogeri mountains: For goodness’ sake, don’t only sell buai to Port Moresby City.

“Port Moresby City is a city of a million people, a million people eat every day, grow the cabbages and everything else and supply to Port Moresby City.

“Next year, we will engage in a partnership: You want to come to the loan centre and pick up a loan for your school fee, your parents or guardians must go to a district somewhere and pick up seedlings of coffee, cocoa, copra and go and work their land in the agriculture space.

“That is the partnership we want: Everyone must contribute to the economy.

“That parent who is picking up a coffee seedling somewhere is not to repay the money you’re getting for your school fee: It’s their money, we’re just telling them to contribute to the economy.”

Marape said as the policy unfolded leading up to the 2020 Budget, students would know more about it, “and I look forward to a better 2020 that will start or cement the direction in which our country will travel in the 2020s”.

He urged students to register themselves with the National Identification programme to benefit from the loan scheme.

No comments:

Post a Comment