by Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Sime Darby Foundation has given out 24 scholarships worth US$500,000 to Papua New Guineans to pursue their academic dreams.
Sime Darby Foundation, is the humanitarian arm of Sime Darby Berhad, whose subsidery recently acquired New Britain Palm Oil.
Sime Darby President and Group Chief Executive, Mohd Bakke, said they were proud to compliment the PNG Government’s efforts to educate and secure a bright future for the young people.
The event marking Sime Darby Foundation’s inaugural scholarship awards in PNG was attended by Higher Education Minister, Malakai Tabar, the Governors of West New Britain and Northern Provinces, representatives from NBPOL and the High Commissioner of Malaysia to PNG.
Sime Darby President, Mohd Bakke, said the scholarships awarded were a fulfilment of a pledge made by Sime Darby.
“Less than a year ago, I paid a courtesy call on the Honourable Prime Minister, soon after the acquisition of New Britain Palm Oil. I had mentioned to the Prime Minister about Sime Darby’s intention to award scholarships here,” Mohd Bakke said.
Minister Tabar said the scholarship was an important intervention to assist Papua New Guineans and especially the best students at tertiary level strive for academic excellence.
Applications for the scholarships opened in October last year.
Out of the 417 applications received, 45 candidates were shortlisted. Assessments and interviews were conducted at NBPOL estates in 6 provinces.
24 students were carefully chosen following the thorough selection process.
The students will pursue tertiary education in PNG and Malaysia in the fields of agriculture, engineering and human resources as well as in technical and vocational studies.
Three students were chosen for the international scholarships for undergraduate electrical and mechanical engineering students at the National University of Malaysia.
The full scholarship program by Sime Darby Foundation covers tuition fees, board and lodging, living expenses, airline tickets and books.
Sime Darby Foundation will also provide support towards the scholars’ welfare and academic performance during the tenure of the scholarships.