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RSVG Police Force Scholarship Fund: silent giant in education

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Fri, Aug 22, 2014 by Junior O Simmons

Station Sergeant of Police

On Thursday, August 07, 2014, the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) held its Annual Scholarship Award Ceremony at the Old Montrose Police Station Lecture Hall.

This event is held yearly to recognize and award scholarships to children of police officers (past and present) who have gained entry into secondary school by successfully passing the now Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA), previously known as “Common Entrance Examinations.” A total of 39 scholarships were awarded to students this year.{{more}}

What is the Police Scholarship Fund?

According to empirical data, the Police Scholarship Fund was first introduced into the RSVG Police Force in 1958 by then Chief of Police Lieutenant Colonel Sydney A Anderson, deceased, whose tenure spanned from 1954 to 1970.

The fund was set up primarily for the benefit of children of police officers. However, with its thrust to build a better relationship with the community and general public at large, the programme was recently modified, albeit, slightly, where assistance has been given to “worthy” recipients who are not children of police officers.

The operations of the Scholarship Fund

The fund is one of the most successfully managed programmes in the Constabulary. It falls directly under the superintendence of the Commissioner of Police. When an officer is enlisted into the Police Force, there is a mandatory deduction in the sum of twenty ($20) from his/her salary which goes directly to the scholarship to capitalize it. Each officer pays a total of $240 annually into the fund. So, in essence, the scholarship fund is financed by the Police for the benefit of the Police and the country in general.

All of the text books issued to the recipients must be returned to the administra­tor(s) of the fund at the end of each school year. This is to facilitate the new recipients into the programme. If a scholarship holder fails to return a text book(s), he/she will have to replace that book by purchasing it.

What’s in the scholarship for the recipients?

The recipients of the Police Scholarship Fund receive the following:

  • Transportation allowance of $64 per term; this is paid at the beginning of each term.
  • All textbooks (secondary and tertiary), stationery, Note Books, Exercise Books, Drawing Books, Geometry Set, Graph Book, A 4 Paper, Loose Leaves, Manuscript Book, Accounts Work Book, Science Lab Book, a Bible and all other pertinent materials/items which are necessary for use by the recipient.
  • Payment of School Registration Fee, School Activity Fee, School Fee (Private Schools), Computer Lab Fee and Examination Fee (secondary and tertiary).

The recipient’s responsibility

In one of his many speeches, deceased former president of the United States of America said “to those whom much is given, much is expected.” There is very high expectation from the recipients of the Police Scholarship Fund. Under the terms and conditions of the fund, the recipients are expected to take especial care of all of the items issued to them. At the end of each school year, the recipients are required to return all textbooks in good condition to the administrator(s) of the fund. Further, in the event that a recipient loses one of the textbooks issued to them, he/she is required to replace that textbook by purchasing same.

Some facts about the Police Scholarship Fund Programme

1. It is one of, if not, the oldest programme of its kind, not only in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), but in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the subregion.

2. Whereas most scholarship programmes in SVG have a duration of five (5) years, the Police Scholarships last for seven (7) years or more, which includes five (5) years at secondary school and two (2) years at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.

3. The fund is the second largest scholarship programme in SVG; second only to those

granted by the Government. It surpasses all of the scholarships awarded by financial institutions (banks and credit unions), non-financial institutions, insurance companies, non-governmental organizations, private sector, civil society and others. In 2013, a total of 70 scholarships were awarded to recipients; on average, the Police Scholarship Fund awards over 35 scholarships on a yearly basis.

4. During the period 2000 – 2014 (the only readily available data) a total of 525 scholarships were awarded to recipients.

Some recipients of the Police Scholarship

Over the years, hundreds of recipients of the Police Scholarship Fund have used their scholarship as an impetus to succeed and excel academically and otherwise. There are numerous prominent and successful persons in our society today who were and are beneficiaries of the fund. I cannot at this time name all of them, since it is not practical to do so; however, I wish to name a few.

The first recipient of the Police Scholarship was Mr Nuffield Constance; the second was Dr Ellsworth Charles, a renowned gynecologist and obstetrician whose father was Corporal #18 Ivan Cornelius Charles of Barrouallie. After receiving the scholarship, Charles, at the tender age of 17 years, three months, left SVG for the University of the West Indies Mona Campus in Jamaica to pursue studies to become a medical doctor. He successfully completed his course of study in 1970.

Other recipients includes Dr Cleve Scott, a historian; Dr Delano Bramble, working in Trinidad and Tobago; Dr Ankie Scott-Joseph, an employee at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank; Mr Inglis O’Garro, a banker; Ms Lana Thomas, an employee at the National Insurance Services (NIS); Ms Sejilla Mc Dowald, senior crown counsel in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions; Ms Dionne John, director of the Agency for Public Information; Mr Yaka Ambris, an engineer in the United States; station sergeant Mahlon Cuffy, chief instructor at the Old Montrose Police Training School; Javid Willliams, a banker; PC 501 Shajica James, attached to the Public Relations and Complaint Department; Ms Elizabeth Ryan, a lawyer; PC 529 Kamal Lee, attached to the Special Services Unit (SSU); and Ms Ronelle Roberts, a barrister and the featured speaker at the 2014 Police Scholarship Fund Award Ceremony.

Conclusion

The late Lt Colonel Sydney A Anderson and those who served under his command at the time must be commended posthumously for their vision and foresight in initiating the Police Scholarship Fund. Commendation also goes out to Sergeant Lyndon Olliver and his team for the efficient manner in which they have been administering this fund. Five decades have now passed since the fund was introduced. This milestone is a clear indication that the Police Scholarship Fund is here to stay. It has transcended a generation and will no doubt endure many more. As long as there is a Police Force, there will be a Police Scholarship Fund; long live the Police Scholarship Fund.

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