The National, Monday 22nd April 2013
By ELIAS NANAU
WEST Sepik students studying at universities and colleges throughout the country will for the first time benefit from tertiary subsidy fees funded by their provincial government.
Governor Amkat Mai said last Friday from Vanimo that his government had approved K1 million for this.
Mai backed the initiative because he was a former high school teacher in West Sepik, then a lecturer at Madang Teachers College and later Divine Word University.
He said in the last 10 to 15 years, many capable grades 10 and 12 leavers did not attend colleges and universities because of inadequate funding support from the provincial government and businesses operating in the province.
Mai said whether there were good or bad results, they would learn and improve from there.
There are 369 students at the seven universities to benefit and each student will receive K1,500.
Mai’s officials will travel to universities this week to distribute the fees.
For teachers colleges and institutes which include the Institute of Business Studies, Don Bosco and the National Polytechnic Institute (Lae) , he said the provincial government would allocate K10,000 each.
“We begin this year with a million kina and we might increase the subsidies next year. I’m thinking of allocating K2.5 million for school subsidy next year because that will be adequate to cater for all,” Mai said.
Mai stressed that the subsidies were a public provincial government initiative that did not single out any parent or student who did not vote for him.
He said everyone was entitled to benefit from the subsidy as the constitution emphasised that every child was entitled to education.
Mai said his government has registered a business arm of the province – West Sepik Investments Ltd – and the ultimate aim was to generate revenue to meet school fees.