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Students receive $500 in cash from Government

Students receive $500 in cash from Government

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This year, a total of 610 students qualified to receive EC$500 from the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines for their performance in the 2014 CSEC and CAPE examinations.

At a ceremony held at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College last Friday to distribute the money,{{more}} Lou-Anne Gilchrist, chief education officer, stated that the money was a tangible gift from the Government as an incentive for students to do well in their external examinations.

“Your presence here today and award today are testimony of the investment that your parents have made. Your parents and guardians and the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines have invested in you,” she said.

Gilchrist disclosed that this year, 445 CSEC students qualified to receive the monetary gift, while 165 students at the CAPE level qualified.

“This number is higher than it was last year and a greater number of secondary schools have had more students qualifying for this gift,” the chief education officer said, while congratulating the various schools.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves noted that since the programme was introduced in 2005, 5,127 students have benefitted from it, to the tune of EC$2.6 million.

While giving advice on how to go about gaining a university level education, Gonsalves encouraged students to excel, as there will be greater rewards ahead.

“I always say if you excel, I will find the resources for you,” he said.

“I want to say to you that once you have the matriculation to go to university – direct entry – I will find the money for you to go to university. You can put your pot on the fire because I intend by the year 2025, to have at least one university graduate on an average per household in St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

The Prime Minister further advised students to acquaint themselves with the requirements for various courses and degree programmes.

As the official ceremony came to an end, throngs of students formed lines, as they prepared to collect their money.

“I’m grateful for it. I appreciate it very much. It will come in handy with my school supplies and practically everything for school,” Zonesha Ashton, who is pursuing an Associate degree in Business Studies, told SEARCHLIGHT.

The former Girls’ High School student commended the efforts of the Government, stating that she was happy about the reward programme, as “it gives us something to look forward to in a way. It’s not mainly about getting the money. It gives us a push to do well for exams.”

Aljay Pierre, who attended the Dr JP Eustace Memorial School, also expressed his happiness with the programme.

“It makes me feel proud of myself because I did the best I could to achieve my $500. I am planning to save some of the money and do other stuff with the leftovers,” the Engineering student at the Division of Technical and Vocational Education told SEARCHLIGHT, after receiving his reward.

The $500 reward programme was introduced in 2005. In order to be eligible to receive the award, students at the CSEC level must have passed at least five subjects, including Mathematics and English.

‘A’ level students are also eligible and must pass two Advanced Level or CAPE subjects, in addition to Communication Studies.(BK)

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