SVG invests $250,000 more into SET programme
March 20, 2015
SVG invests $250,000 more into SET programme

The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has invested an additional $250,000 into the Support for Education and Training (SET) programme.

The baton was passed to the second cohort of the SET programme last Friday, when a ceremony was held at the Kingstown Methodist Church Hall {{more}}to mark the end of the programme’s first year.

In his feature address, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves focused on the universal access to secondary school, which was implemented in 2005, and the availability of various scholarships, which has generated large numbers of qualified Vincentians in various fields.

“So long as God gives me life and strength and he gives me the responsibility to be Prime Minister, I ain’t turning back from making sure that every single boy and girl has an equal opportunity to have access to quality education from early childhood right up to university,” he told persons at the ceremony on Friday.

“The most dangerous of all weapons of mass destruction is an uneducated person, an ignorant person and you know that many of your parents, and grandparents and great grandparents, you know them to be very bright and if they had the opportunity that you had, they would have been professors at universities. They would have been high quality professionals at one time or another.”

Gonsalves acknowledged that because of these opportunities, St Vincent and the Grenadines has been producing more university and college graduates than can be absorbed into the labour force and so, the SET programme was devised.

“We did 115 last year, we doing 117 this year, or more. I put $1.5 million last year in the budget for it; I put $1.75 million this year,” the Prime Minister said.

In addition, Gonsalves revealed that the journey is not over for 21 teachers from the first cohort. To ensure that the progress of their students is not disrupted, the teachers will continue on with their students for at least the next four months.

The Minister with responsibility for Finance noted that these teachers will not be seen as SET interns, but will be paid using funds from PetroCaribe, under the label of “relief teachers”.

It was reported by cabinet secretary Kattian Barnwell that more than 36 interns from the first cohort have been offered permanent employment at their institution.

The SET programme is open to university graduates and graduates from all divisions of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.

University graduates receive a stipend of $2,200 a month, while college graduates receive $1,000.(BK)