The National, Monday 17th June 2013
THE chief executive officer of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Peace and Reconciliation Department in PNG, Nick Peniai, arrived in Cebu on June 10 to inspect the universities and visit the 37 ABG students studying at university in the Philippines.
This year, Peniai plans to send another batch of 200 PNG students to study in Cebu.
In 2012, Peniai spearheaded a region wide awareness campaign that built up PNG students’ great interest for tertiary education in the Philippines.
Through Peniai’s involvement in this project, he was able to secure a subsidy of K75,000 for the students from the ABG and a commitment to sponsor 40 students per year.
“I’m very happy to see our Bougainville students excelling in the different universities in the Philippines.
“They will light the path for Bougainville as we move forward,” Peniai said.
“I have secured a US$50,000 (K122,518) subsidy for the students which will be sent after I return to PNG, so it’s all very exciting.
Peniai secured a subsidy of US$35,000 (K85,763) in February which was sent for the students’ fees, and upon his return to PNG next week, he will send a further US$50,000 (K122,518).
So far, Peniai has visited the University of Southern Philippines (USP-F) and met Dr Alicia Cabatingan, the university president. He will continue to visit other university campuses and executives until tomorrow.
The 37 PNG students from Bougainville who travelled to Cebu is a result of the delegation of ministers’ visit to the Philippines in December 2011.
The ABG team met with Paradise International Education Consultancy (PIEC) executive consultant, Jensen Chow, and reached an understanding to trial a foreign university education project on Bougainville.
PIEC is a Filipino education placement agency based in Cebu, Philippines and provides PNG students the opportunity to take advantage of the world class education offered by schools in the Philippines.
The PNG students who are now in Cebu are enrolled in various bachelor degrees at universities in Cebu City, the second largest city in the Philippines.
The Filipino academic year runs from June to March the following year.
Through PIEC’s facilitation services, per student all-inclusive annual expenses are K20,000 to K25,000, which includes education placement, orientation, study skills seminars, visa assistance, tutoring and pastoral care, organising accommodation, and managing students’ finances. Students who are interested to register to PIEC may log in to their website at www.CebuStudy.org.