December 23, 2009
374 students get scholarships from Taiwan

Three hundred and seventy four students were the recipients of the Taiwanese scholarships for primary, secondary and post secondary education last week.

The students were awarded the scholarships during a presentation ceremony on Thursday, December 17, 2009, at the Peace Memorial Hall.{{more}}

The scholarships, which have a total value of $268,200, are a part of an agreement between Taiwan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in which the government of Taiwan contributes US$100,000 yearly towards financially disadvantaged children in schools across St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The scholarship programme, which ran from 1998 to 2008, was renewed in 2009 for five more years.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sir Louis Straker declared that there is ‘no country on the face of the earth that has shown a greater interest towards the education of our children than the Republic of China on Taiwan.”

Straker added that this country is very fortunate to be friends of Taiwan as they have contributed much to the educational development in St. Vincent, providing funding for several educational programmes and the building of education institutions.

He also encouraged students to not waste the efforts of the Taiwanese government and to work hard to excel in their academics.

Giving his address, Ambassador Leo Lee congratulated the students who received the scholarships. Lee stated that education is the key to a country’s development. He mentioned some of the human resource development programmes contributed by the Taiwan government, including the scholarship awards, scholarships to Taiwan and the building of learning resource centres.

He added that the renewed scholarship programme will focus more on the vocational institutions, and a review committee was set up to ensure transparency and fairness.

Extending gratitude to the Taiwan government, Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel thanked them for their “thoughtfulness, initiative and unwavering commitment to our multi island state.”

Miguel stated that the economic downturn has prevented some parents from providing education to their children. The scholarship programme, she said, will assist in that regard. Miguel added that the government continues to work assiduously to make sure that every child acquires the basic skills necessary to excel in school and in the world.

Also making remarks, Chief Education Officer (Ag.) Louanne Gilchrist encouraged the students to educate themselves in order to experience the satisfaction of learning about themselves and the world.

One hundred and ninety three scholarships were awarded to students at the primary level, 131 to students at the secondary level and 50 were awarded to post secondary school students. The presentation ceremony also included dancing, choral speaking and the playing of musical instruments by students from various schools.