Powi pays students fees

The 38th Independence anniversary on Monday 16th September, 2013 was a cause for celebration for students from Southern Highlands province at the Divine Word University’s Madang campus not only for the importance of the national day but for a gift they received.

The Southern Highlands governor Honourable William Titpe Powi came to the students rescue on the National Day with a cheque of K75,000 to pay off their outstanding tuition fees.

Governor Powi dispatched the provincial projects manager, Mr Chan Kaiyo to do the honours on his behalf on Monday 16th September.

Mr Powi authorised the payment of the outstanding tuition fees upon receiving a letter from the students recently.

The money is to settle outstanding tuition fees for 22 students who were on the verge of being suspended from studies.

Mr Kaiyo drove down from Mendi to Madang deliver the cheque on the morning of Monday 16th September as the DWU students and staff completed the flag raising ceremony to the mark the 38th anniversary of PNG’s nationhood.

Mr Kaiyo said Governor Powi responded to the SHP students’ urgent request as a priority as he did not want them to be suspended from studies.

SHP Students Association president, Graham Supiri said Powi’s support is the first of its kind for Southern Highlands students at DWU. He commended the governor for his foresight and urged the provincial government to continue to support students in tertiary institutions.

Mr Supiri suggested that such a program should continue as SHP is known by others as “resource rich” province because of the oil and gas extraction projects and people are considered to be better off when they are not.
“My student friends and others say SHP is ‘resource rich’ and you people (Southern Highlanders) are well off, when it is not the case,” Mr Supiri said.

DWU registrar, Cecilia N’Drower in thanking the SHP government for coming to the aid of the students said it is doing the right thing to invest in education of its citizens. She suggested that the SHP and other provincial governments come with schemes to support their students in institutions so that they return home and work.

While Mr Kaiyo was speaking Governor Powi rang on his mobile phone and stated that his government had to respond to the DWU students as it was an urgent need and their counter-parts in other institutions should not feel he is being unfair on them.

Mr Kaiyo relayed the governor’s message that a proper tertiary students’ assistance scheme will be put in place next year under a program to be called the “Powi Foundation”.

He said this year funding priority has been given to rehabilitation of roads while tertiary education will be supported from next year onwards.

Mr Kaiyo also revealed that under the SHP government’s new master plan, a Graduate Scheme will be set up next year for the benefit of fresh SHP graduates from institutions of higher education. He said under the graduate scheme Southern Highlanders who graduate in various fields of expertise would be are brought to the province to work in the districts.

He said this will be part of a roll out program to retrench the aging public servants under a K20 million funding from the O’Neill-Dion government.