This year will be recorded as an historic one for the award of Barbados Scholarships and Exhibitions.
Not only was it the first time that The St. Michael School joined the prestigious ranks of other institutions by securing a Barbados scholar in the person of Nathan Lovell, but according to Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, there was a 40.6 per cent increase in the number of students being awarded Exhibitions, compared to last year.
The tally for the 2018 Barbados Scholarships and Exhibitions was 55 – 23 Scholarships (19 females and four males) and 32 Exhibitions (24 females and eight males), presenting Government with the unique challenge of securing funding for the large group of students. The 23 scholarship winners all received Grade Ones in the Caribbean Examinations Council’s CAPE exams in eight units of their programme.
“When the Chief Education Officer said that the Barbados Government has to figure out how we are going to pay for you all, she was not joking. But it does please us and I think you would know that our mantra has been one where we focus very heavily on education and we believe in investing in our people and you are our greatest resource. And the only thing I would ask that all of you do for the investment that is being made in you is that you give back to your country. Wherever you may go, find a way to come back to Barbados and use the knowledge that you have to give back to this country,” Ms. Bradshaw told the eager awardees, their parents and relatives, who gathered in the auditorium of the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, Pine Hill, St. Michael, yesterday for the announcement.
Harrison College was awarded 12 scholarships; Queen’s College, 10; and The St. Michael School, one. The breakdown, in respect to exhibitions, is as follows: Harrison College – 10; Queen’s College – 17; Barbados Community College – three; and The St. Michael School received its first two exhibitions. Last year, only 19 exhibitions were awarded.
The Education Minister disclosed that 40 of the 55 awards (scholarships and exhibitions) were in the areas of Science and Technology; 13 were in any subject combination; and one was in Theatre Arts. She congratulated the students for their hard work and acknowledged the teachers, who worked diligently with them from the nursery to secondary school levels, for their dedication.
“I also want to publicly thank all of the teachers from the various institutions who have worked with these students. A lot of our teachers are working in very difficult circumstances, but certainly working hard to deliver the results that we have highlighted today,” Ms. Bradshaw stated.
She continued: “I want to assure you that the Barbados Government remains committed to ensuring appropriate education and training for our children to live happy and fulfilling lives so that our young people will be world-class citizens grounded in Barbadian values, using their skills to show the world what Barbados has to offer, building the Barbados brand, supporting themselves and being of benefit to our country.”
The Minister also acknowledged the support of parents in getting the winners to where they are today.
“As I look around the room, I’m indeed heartened to see the adults – the parents and guardians – who have accompanied these awardees. I know you have supported them throughout their school life and certainly by the rush to get here this evening, you have continued to support them. But truthfully, the journey now begins because this is another chapter in their lives which might not be the hand-holding that they are accustomed to, but you still have the responsibility to be there every step of the way with them…you, too, must be congratulated.
“To the students present here today… It is you who will have the opportunity to write the future chapters on the pages of history of this island. I ask you to be proud of your success and to be proud as we are of your success. Congratulations yet again,” she said.
Also present at the event was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Dr. Romel Springer; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Janet Phillips; Deputy Permanent Secretary, Princess Lovell-Chandler; Chief Education Officer, Karen Best; and Deputy Chief Education Officers, Joy Adamson and Dr. Roderick Rudder.