Over 800 students will receive bursaries under the Taiwanese Human Resource Development Program, according to Education Officer for Media and Communications in the Ministry of Education, National Reconciliation, and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Miss Marla Nanton.  Miss Nanton, at the time, was chairing the 2017 Republic of China [R.O.C.] (Taiwan), and the Ministry of Education presentation of bursary handouts to students in Kingstown and environs.  The bursaries were handed out at a ceremony at the Methodist Church Hall on Thursday, 9th November.

Representatives from the Embassy of the R.O.C (Taiwan), Ministry of Education Officials, teachers, students, parents and guardians, converged at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown to witness the bursary handover; which Miss Nanton emphasised is a 95% increase from last year.

The Ministry of Education is pleased to join with the Government of the R.O.C. (Taiwan) to support the life chances of our children in this nation, Chief Education Officer, Miss Beverly Neptune stated, in her welcome remarks.  Miss Neptune went on to say that the Ministry recognised that emphasis on education will sustain development and progress in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Ms. Neptune congratulated each scholarship recipient, urged them to be determined to succeed, and wished them every success in their endeavours.  She further stated that thousands of Vincentians have benefitted from this scholarship, and have since continued to excel in their academics.  In closing, the Chief Education Officer expressed profound gratitude to the Government and People of Taiwan for their kindness.

Ambassador of the R.O.C (Taiwan) to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, His Excellency Baushuan Ger, congratulated the students from the 38 schools in Kingstown and environs who have received scholarships.  He thanked the Ministry of Education for working with the schools to select suitable candidates.

From 1998 to 2016, explained Ambassador Ger, the Taiwanese Government has contributed US$100,000.00 (EC$270,000.00), towards the back-to-school bursary program.  According to Ambassador Ger, since then, US$1.9 million (EC$5.1 million), has been allocated to sponsor this program, however, this year the Taiwanese Government has doubled the previous figure to US$200,000.

Approximately 415 students received scholarships last year, Ambassador Ger stated.  This year, 793 students will benefit from the increased funding, said the Taiwanese Ambassador to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  Ambassador Ger thanked his colleagues in the Ministry of Education for organising the ceremony and making arrangements with the respective schools.  He wished "every student of this country a very bright future.”

Minister of Education, Hon. St. Clair Prince, expressed gratitude to the R.O.C (Taiwan), for its continuous support towards the development of education in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  He added that Taiwan has done a tremendous job for students.  The Minister said that he was delighted to hear of the increases in scholarship funding for students.  He extolled the benevolence of the people of Taiwan, and cited that this should not be taken for granted. 

To this end, he urged parents to use the monies wisely by ensuring that it goes towards students' academic needs. He used the opportunity to remind parents to become more proactive in their children's education.  Minister Prince further encouraged parents to instill punctuality and proper deportment in their children, among others.  Parents should make it a habit to visit schools from time to time, Minister Prince asserted, so that they can track their children's progress, keeping in mind the necessary protocols.  Parents should not only visit schools to voice disagreements, Mr. Prince admonished. 

Mr. Prince had a word for teachers as well.  He urged teachers to be even more productive in their classrooms.  Any shortchanging in the classroom will negatively affect the children, the Minister of Education emphasised.  He offered congratulations to all of the scholarship recipients.

Accordingly, there will be upcoming scholarship disbursements in the following zones: Georgetown, Barrouallie, Marriaqua, SVGCC, and Bequia.


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