By GERALDINE VILAKIVA
THE Morobe provincial government will pay outstanding school fees and new fees due under its Gerson-Solulu scholarship scheme.
Scholarship officer, Robert Ayang, said this year’s scholarship budget of K3.5 million has been approved by Finance and Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch.
“I want to assure the institutions, parents and students that with the approval of our budget, we should start the payment process as soon as the Finance and Treasury office opens next week,” he said.
Mr Ayang said the provincial administrator had written letters to the institutions particularly the Medical Faculty of UPNG and UOG which would start classes next week, assuring them that “the scholarship office is now processing all scholarship students’ outstanding fees as well as fees for this year.”
He said the administrator would also write to other institutions advising them of this before the academic year starts for each institution.
Mr Ayang also anticipated an increase in the number of scholarships compared with last year.
“This year we are anticipating an increase of new intake scholarships compared to last year where we had 50 scholarships for new intakes,” he said.
However, he did not disclose the exact number of scholarship for this year as applications
were still coming in and certain criteria would have to be met before a final list is approved.
In the meantime, Mr Ayang said the scholarship scheme had extended its arms to also sponsor students to the new National Polytechnic College (NPC) formally Lae Tech, PNG Maritime College and the Brown Community Health Training Centre.
“Because NPC will be offering some LNG and mining programmes this year, we decided to sponsor some of the students to take these courses, as with the LNG and mining boom in the province and country, we want our students to be a part of it,” he said.
“We will also be sponsoring four students, two male and two females, to take up courses in deck and engineering cadets at the PNG Maritime College.”