PM Marape: Government has not scrapped HECAS and AES
Approved for Release. January 13th 2020
By PNG Office of the Prime Minister
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says the Government has not scrapped the Higher Education Contribution Assistance Scheme (HECAS) and Academic Excellence Scholarship (AES) in favour of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).
He said this today when clarifying misconceptions among students and institutions that HECAS and AES had been done away with.
“HELP is a facility made available by Marape-Steven Government for students who will need help for their tuition fees this year and beyond,” Prime Minister Marape said.
“AES students will continue to receive this Government incentive, but there are still many students who remain outside of formal Government assistance, for whom HELP is intended.
“Students who need assistance are required to present their acceptance letters at registration.
“School registrars will facilitate their enrolment with tuition fee guaranteed from the HELP scheme.
“This is not compulsory, but for students who need a helping hand.”
Prime Minister Marape also clarified repayment time for the HELP.
“This loan scheme will not be burdensome on present student borrowers,” he said.
“It will have no time limit for repayment, is interest-free and you can take your life time to repay.
“It is structured in a way to give assistance, but has citizen responsibility towards repaying.
“Into the future, a correct endowment fund structure will be set up to ensure sustainability for future generations.
“We also thinking of linking 7 per cent of National Gaming Board funds into this scheme for student assistances.
“During the course of the academic year, working together with Census 2020, proper National Identification (NID) numbers of students will be issued.
“We will entrench this scheme for 2020 and beyond.”
Next Tuesday, Prime Minister Marape and Higher Education Minister Hon. Nick Kuman will meet all universities and college administrators to tidy up on this facility, as well as 2020 school programmes, so there are no hiccups.
“Government will work with the schools to ensure timely quarterly disbursements to schools, starting at opening of academic year 2020,” Prime Minister Marape said.
“I am adamant that this must happen.
“Where there is a will, there is a way.
“The rich and employed can afford school fees for their children, but what about those who can’t afford?
“This policy is for them.”