The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Barbados is offering its annual Chinese Government Scholarship this year to Barbadians who want to study in China, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. And, to date, 11 Barbadians have applied for the scholarship.
China’s Ambassador to Barbados, Yan Xiusheng, made the disclosure this morning during the presentation of 12 laptops to the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, at the embassy.
Ambassador Yan said the donation was just another example of Barbados and China’s longstanding friendship and cooperation.
“We will continue our Chinese Government scholarship programme this year despite the epidemic. Eleven excellent Bajan students have applied for the scholarship. My colleagues in China are working hard to finalize the preparatory work for them. I hope good news can come soon to them,” he stated, adding that the donation signalled the reopening of the embassy since the emergence of COVID-19 here.
Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw, on accepting the donation of laptops, which will assist students in need with online learning, said the fact that Barbadians were still willing to study abroad in China in light of the pandemic spoke volumes about the “Barbadian spirit”.
“I am pleased that there are a number of applications that have already been submitted. While there are people who might be a bit anxious and uncertain, it speaks to the Barbadian spirit. It speaks to despite all that has happened, Barbadians are still interested and willing to explore and that Barbadians do acknowledge that you have, as a country, done your best in the circumstances, but you also have a lot to offer to them as students.
“I look forward to the applications being accepted and for the situation globally being able to change to allow those students who are wanting to pursue their education overseas that they can take up those opportunities …. So, I look forward to having this situation put behind us so that we are in a position to have an increase in the number of students from Barbados who are able to participate in the programme,” Minister Bradshaw said.
Speaking about the donation, Ambassador Yan lauded the Education Ministry for advancing the island’s online learning and teaching during the pandemic.
He added that in a dynamic digital world students had to be equipped with hi-tech devices and skills to keep in step with the rest of the world.
“In this regard, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Barbados would like to make our contribution with 12 laptops to join the Ministry’s efforts to help Barbadian students,” he stated.
Ms. Bradshaw thanked the People’s Republic of China for the donation, and emphasized the strong bond China and Barbados shared.
“Yet again you have demonstrated that in good times and in bad times you are a friend to Barbados …. I accept this donation against a background where in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was much attention on China and even in the early stages Barbados stood with you in solidarity as the People’s Republic of China faced one of the worst pandemics to date.
“In response to the pandemic affecting Barbados you also stood very tall in helping Barbados and coming to our assistance, particularly as it relates to public health and we are eternally grateful to you for that assistance in the early stages and clearly now in relation to helping the Ministry of Education to achieve its mandate of ensuring that no child is left behind,” she stated.
The Minister said that with the Ministry of Education working towards a September return to school for students, it would be looking at a blended approach, and would once again be engaging China to help them plan out such a platform in the coming months.