A promise kept and a signal sent
The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines last Friday fulfilled a promise to students of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) when scholarships, bursaries and tuition awards were presented to top performers in nursing, education and business studies.
Over the years, it had been the practice of successive governments to award national scholarships based exclusively on students’ performance in A’levels or the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exam (CAPE). However, with the establishment of the integrated community college and with the number of awards to CAPE students in the form of national awards, exhibitions and bursaries ever increasing, the vast disparity in how outstanding performances in other divisions were recognized (or not recognized at all) became increasingly obvious.
At Friday’s ceremony, two students received tuition awards to pursue further studies in nursing and industrial arts education respectively; two received bursaries to study accountancy; while three received university scholarships in the areas of financial accounting and teacher education (two students).
Beyond the recognition of the individual performances and the provision of means for the awardees to continue their studies, the awards send an important signal to the wider society.
The public recognition of students in the applied disciplines allows them to take their place alongside other top scholars of the nation and encourages gifted students transitioning from CSEC into post secondary education to pursue studies outside of the CAPE offerings.
Positioning one’s self to win a national award to access university education is a major factor when students decide what program in which to enrol at the SVGCC. This move to present awards to students in other disciplines reduces, if not removes the bias towards students in the Division of Arts, Science and General Studies.
The awards are also a nod to the importance to national development of bright, qualified professionals in technical vocational areas, education, nursing and business studies.
SEARCHLIGHT congratulates the awardees and wishes them every success as they move to higher education. We also commend the Government on this progressive step.