PARENTS and students from the four PNG LNG plant site villages outside Port Moresby have welcomed the scholarship scheme introduced by the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC).
The scholarship awards programme is exclusive to beneficiaries of project-impacted areas and aimed at supporting students complete their tertiary studies.
At a recent meeting in Boera village, parents and student representatives thanked the MRDC management and directors of Gas Resources PNG LNG Plant Ltd, their landowner company, for the support.
Parent Veri Kari of Lealea village said: “The scholarship has assisted my son Morea meet the K6,000 required to do his 1st year business management course at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG).
“Without this assistance, he would have dropped out. Getting a bank loan to pay the tuition fee is difficult.”
A total of 402 students from the PNG LNG plant site villages of Papa, Lealea, Boera and Porebada attending various universities and colleges in the country were supported under this scholarship programme at a cost of over K2.2 million.
PNGLNG Plant chairlady Ulato Avei said the programme was intended to give the young generation a chance at tertiary education so they can secure their future.
“Spending 10 per cent of our future generation fund on tuition fee for our children in tertiary institutions is the right thing to do. “It is one of the best ways to spend our royalty and equity benefits that we receive from the PNG LNG project,” she aid.
But the chairlady cautioned that the scheme would only deliver the result they wanted if it was treated as a privilege and not a right.
MRDC client services acting general manager Bartholomew Yacob said the scheme was a milestone initiative aimed at ensuring more students from project areas graduate with tertiary qualifications to secure good jobs.
The scholarship applied to students from:
- THE Ok Tedi Mine Villages;
- CMCA region in Western;
- KUTUBU,Gobe and Moran Oil Projects;
- THE PNGLNG Plant site villages;
- THE PNGLNG Pipeline Segment 1-7 and;