Monday 24 September, 2018

Come back and give back, the 2018 Scholarship, Exhibition bill is high

Minister Santia Bradshaw chatting with Scholarship and Exhibition winners after the ceremony.

Minister Santia Bradshaw chatting with Scholarship and Exhibition winners after the ceremony.

More money has to be spent on this year’s cohort of Barbados Scholarship and Exhibition winners because more students have met the requirements.

With an almost 50 per cent jump in Exhibition winners, the new Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government has to find the means of paying for the 55 students’ education.

“I’m indeed extremely excited by these results… This year there are 23 students who attained all Grade 1s, in eight Units of their programme and who will be awarded a Barbados Scholarship. In 2017, there were 26 Scholarships… There was, however, a 40.6 per cent increase in the number of Exhibition winners. Last year only 19 were awarded, while this year we have 32 students qualifying for Exhibitions, hence when the Chief Education Officer says that I now, and the Barbados government, have to figure out how we’re going to pay for you all, she was not joking. But it does please us.”

She added that this administration’s focus has been on education as part of their mantra because “you are our greatest resources.”

And she impressed upon them the significance of their return to Barbados after studying, in order to make their own contributions to this country’s development.

“The only thing that I would ask that all of you do for the investment that is being made in you, is that you give back to your country, wherever you may go, find a way to come back to Barbados and to use the knowledge that you have and give back to this country.”

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Despite the spike in cost, no awardee will be left behind. This assurance came from the Chief Education Officer, Karen Best who said:

“My Minister now is worried what is going to happen because the numbers are increasing and I know, I haven’t done the projections as yet…but I know my Minister has to think about where that money is going to come from.

“But you’ve kept your side of the bargain. You have delivered, and therefore, we have to make sure that you are comfortable to continue and reach higher heights.”

Best looked at the anxious faces in the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College Auditorium, and added, “I know that you students are going to make Barbados proud.”

The Deputy Chief Education Officer, Joy Adamson reiterated the need for each recipient to come back and give back or pay back. She stressed that amongst the paperwork that needs to be signed post-announcement of the winners:

“There are some bonds that you have to sign, meaning that we are paying for your tuition, so we will expect as the Minister said that you will give back. If you don’t give back, you pay back!”

Luckily for some, the ceremony to announce the winners was held on Friday, August 10, instead of Monday, August 13, as previously organized because as early as yesterday morning some students left the island to prepare for the start of their Fall semester and first year at University abroad.

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