K65.1mil set for Help: PM

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PRIME Minister James Marape says the Government has allocated K65.1 million in the 2022 Budget for the higher education loan programme (Help).
“We are fully committed to ensure quality education is accessed by as many students as possible in an affordable manner,” he said on Tuesday when giving an update on higher education in the country.
“The programme was introduced in 2019 when we took office, and was implemented in 2020.
“This is a loan scheme for the students attending tertiary institutions who cannot afford the fees.
“It has been managed and coordinated by the Department of Higher Education Research Science and Technology and has remained successful since its inception.”
Marape added that the programme would generate its first dividends this year when students who applied last year would be graduating this year and begin making repayments.
“The dividends will be saved in what is called the ‘Higher education endowment fund’,”he said.
“This facility will generate returns and in turn self-sustain the programme in the long-run.”
Marape also commended department acting secretary Dr Francis Hualupmomi who introduced new mechanisms to transparently manage the programme.
“Hualupmomi has extended the programme to post-graduate students in 2021,” he said, adding that this decision will now result in payment of first dividends by working class post-graduate students.”
Marape said another important positive outcome was the increase in spaces available for this year for grade 12 school-leavers from 11,000 (2021) to 15,171 (2022).”
“This is largely attributed to a participation of some new institutions in the higher and technical education system in the country.”
Marape added that: “Technical education is another policy in skilling up the labour force for the upcoming extractive industry projects.”