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880 students receive $500 in cash from Government

880 students receive $500 in cash from Government


Eight hundred and eighty students who excelled in the 2015 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and for the first time, the Associate Degree programmes, each received $500 from the Government on Monday.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) campus on Monday, {{more}}Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves told those in attendance that educating the youth is one of his top priorities and he will continue to support those who wish to further their education.

“As long as where I am in the office that I hold, I will help you… every day that I go to the office all my waking hours I think about the education, the training and the well-being of our students and our young people.”

The Prime Minister said the money, which totalled $440,000, is given to the students so that they can help themselves and as a gift for their hard work.

Gonsalves told the students that once they finish their studies at the college and wish to go to university, the Government has many different avenues for them to take to alleviate some of the financial burden.

“You get a student loan up to $120,000 for the three years…and I as minister of finance, I sign as guarantor that if you don’t pay, the Government would pay it,” he explained.

He, however, explained that students should pay to allow others to benefit from the programme, because of the revolving nature of the programme.

The Prime Minister explained that since his party started the education revolution, they have spent $7 million in economic costs at the University of the West Indies, $6.5 million to fund scholarships and grants and $6 million for the disadvantaged student loan programme.

He congratulated the students and encouraged them to continue their hard work.

“I want to congratulate you and I want to say to your parents that they have done a good job to help to bring you along to thus far,” Gonsalves stated.

Chief education officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist also congratulated the students and told them to continue to invest in themselves.

“We are investing heavily in you. We would like you to invest heavily in yourselves and the most that we are asking of you now… is that you study.”

Gilchrist also noted that although the minimum standard that the Ministry has set for secondary school leavers is five CSEC passes, students should not settle for just this, but should do their best and set their goals high.

135 students with a minimum B grade in the Associate degree programme, 547 CSEC students who passed five subjects, including math and English, and 198 CAPE students who passed two 2-unit subjects, plus either Caribbean Studies or Communication Studies, were awarded.(CM)