The Kerema Development Authority (KDA) has budgeted K1 million to help subsidize course fees for students from Gulf attending various tertiary institutions around the country.
Current Kerema District MP and chairman of the KDDA Hon. Thomas Opa made this announcement to the public and in a statement released to local media outlets.. This will be an annual expenditure in the District Budget appropriated mainly to help support the parents in the rural areas . The KKD has supported more than 400 students last year.
The applications processing and administration of this program is being managed by Kerema Hope Foundation (KHF). He said, the District solely relies on District Support Improvement Program (DSIP) funds from the National Government. As such, the first K1 million will go towards paying the tertiary institutions so that students do not miss out on the registration.
He also stressed that many students have applied and KFH is doing the screening and processing of the applications. Priority will be give to students whose parents are living and working in Kerema. This is to avoid students who are applying from outside and deriving those from the district.
All applications must be approved by their local ward counsellors and respective local level government presidents to verify authenticity and legitimacy.
Good for the development of Gulf as Province
The initiative by the local MP in this first term in Parliament signals a new era for Gulf as province. Gulf has produced a lot of national leaders in the likes of late Sir Mekere Mourata and long serving MP Chris Haiveta and others, the province has seen very little development compared with rest of the provinces around the country. So, with the current PAPUA LNG coming on board and other major oil and gas projects and their related infrastructure developments, the district will definitely need a pool of young educated manpower. So this is a strategic move to priority education of tertiary institutions using the DSIP funds.
As DHERST TESAS Scholarship cannot cater for every tertiary student under HECAS, a lot of students are attending tertiary institutions as Self-Sponsored students and such subsidies will go a long way in helping students get a higher degree which after graduating can easily get employed in developments that are taking place in the province.
PNG LNG project has taught the country a lesson and that is the shortage of skilled and technical workers in PNG. It takes a committed effort from all stakeholders to address this and build the PNG human resource capacity. The MP has taken onboard the challenge and the leadership in this space to develop his district. It’s now up to the recipients (students) to live up to that dream and strategic thinking of the local MP.