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5000 students benefit from PNG Govt HELP Loan Program

Over 5000 students from 32 institutions across the country have so far benefited from the National Government’s recently introduced Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).

In an interview with NBC News today, Department of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (DHERST) Secretary Fr. Jan Czuba said, from the K230 million funding allocation towards the program, K44 million was allocated while only K30 million was released.

Fr. Jan said the program is targeting all levels of tertiary education, but for now – it is only given to undergraduate students largely from universities and colleges with funding ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 kina.

''We are negotiating with our sister departments in Planning and Treasury to see how much money we can get.

''The challenge is that COVID-19 compromises the global economy, and we are part of the global economy which means we feel the negative impact on our income in our country so we need to be realistic.

''What we plan last year can not be fully implemented because of the cash flow issues we face in our country and the rest of the world because of COVID-19,'' Fr. Jan Czuba said.

The HELP Program initiated by the current Government late last year is aimed at assisting tertiary students with an interest-free loan for their fees and for repayment when they start working.

Students who qualify for these loans will have their tuition fees, accommodation, and learning resources among others catered for by the National Government with a 10% fortnightly deduction once they start working.

NBC News/ PNG Today

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