$500 reward is an added incentive to work harder – students
Students in line at the St Vincent Community College awaiting their turn to collect their $500 government reward (File Photo)
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November 23, 2018
$500 reward is an added incentive to work harder – students

Students believe that the government’s thrust to reward students with $500 provides an incentive to work even harder to do well in external examinations.

The Ministry of Education began distribution of $500 yesterday at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College Villa Campus, to students who performed well in the 2018 CSEC, CAPE and Associate degree examinations.

Just minutes after receiving his reward, Shaboni Bowman, a student at the Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies told SEARCHLIGHT that “it gives students a goal to work towards”.

Bowman recently graduated from the Mountain View Adventist Academy with 13 CSEC subjects.

“I feel very excited, elated. I’ve been waiting for it a good couple months. It means that I worked hard, I studied diligently and I got what I deserve, my award and I’m very grateful for it,” he said. “I know some students may not be very inclined to work hard to get it, but to those who are very diligent, it’s a very good incentive to work hard for their subjects.”

Aaron Weekes recently graduated from the SVGCC with CAPE passes in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Caribbean Studies.

And like Bowman, the 18-year-old also thinks that the monetary award is a good initiative.

“Students work hard. They slave over books so they should be rewarded for their hard work in the end,” he said. “I think it honestly helps people kind of short term to get to where they want to go.

It’s a good boost and it’s something for people to work towards so when they know that they’re going to get the money, they tend to work harder during exams and stuff so I think it’s nice to get it.”

Eight hundred and eighty-seven students collected their award yesterday.

Of this number, 557 students sat CSEC, 228 sat CAPE and 102 pursued Associate degrees.

St Clair Jimmy Prince, the minister of education said that the government invested a total of $443,500 into rewarding this year’s students.

He described it as “a practical demonstration of the government’s commitment to ensuring that all that is possible is done to provide the youths of this nation a pathway to reach their highest potential”.

The minister congratulated students for being successful in their exams and said that they made their parents, schools and country proud.

“The award of $500 is a result of a policy decision by Cabinet and is designed to assist students in defraying school expenses and in particular costs associated with sitting external examinations,” he said. “There was a time when three O’ levels could get you a job. Nowadays, you know better than I do that you at least have to have CAPE to be considered seriously. The standard, the bar is being raised higher and higher as time goes on.”

Prince also said that the initiative is one of many that is being used to deepen and strengthen the education revolution.

And he encouraged students to continue doing well.

To be eligible for the award, CSEC students must have gained five passes with Grades I to III including Mathematics and English A.

CAPE students must have gained passes with Grades I to V in at least two two-Unit subjects as well as in the single Unit Communication Studies or Caribbean Studies in two consecutive years.

Students in the various Associate Degree programmes must have gained at least a B- average.