The large number of Barbados Scholarship and Exhibition winners this year, is testimony to the reinstitution of free tertiary education.
Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, said she was “pleased” with the number of scholarships and Exhibitions which have been consistently increasing over the last few years.
Speaking at a ceremony to announce the winners last Friday at Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, Ms. Bradshaw implored the 2019 winners to give back to Barbados after completing their respective fields of study.
This year, there were 27 scholarship winners and 36 exhibition winners. This compares to 26 scholarship winners and 19 exhibition winners in in 2017 and 25 and 34 scholarship and Exhibition winners in 2018, respectively.
Queen’s College took the lion’s share with 16 scholarships and 17 exhibitions; Harrison College, 10 scholarships and 10 exhibitions; Barbados Community College, one scholarship and one exhibition; The St. Michael School, seven exhibitions; and the Christ Church Foundation School, one exhibition.
The Education Minister said that while Government was committed to investing in education, more often than not, recipients of scholarships and exhibitions did not return to Barbados to give back.
“It is particularly pleasing to see the number of winners this year in the science and technology areas and I would encourage you to return to Barbados because we need some help. And we are finding that a lot of times after we have made the investment in your careers a lot of persons are not returning to the island. We want to encourage you to find ways to give back to Barbados.
“Giving back doesn’t mean you have to come back, it may mean you have to pay back but it also means that in your respective fields and your chosen careers that you have to be thinking of Barbados, not just as a place where you come back to vacation, but somewhere where this country needs you to be able to continue to help pull some weight,” Ms. Bradshaw emphasized.
This year, the majority of scholarships were awarded in the area of Science and Technology but the Education Minister pointed out that her Ministry made the commitment to ensure that the technical and vocational area was also given “due weight” and acknowledgement. Ms. Bradshaw did not only congratulate the winners but also their teachers and parents for “a job well done”. She urged the awardees to continue to “fly the Barbados flag high” and to “make an impact and difference wherever you go”.