"Work hard and stay focused on your course of study!"

That was the key advice given by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones to three recipients of scholarships from the Rotary Club of Barbados West, during a presentation ceremony at his Ministry this morning.

The awardees are all students of the University of the West Indies (UWI). They are Jamil Sealy, pursuing a degree in Pure & Applied Sciences, with a major in Information Technology; Janene Corbin, pursuing Sociology and Law and Karen Bellamy, whose area of study is in Psychology.

??While lauding the Rotary Club’s efforts, Minister Jones described their work as "outstanding" and noted that it should be "singularly recognised" as these synergies were needed not only in education but in Barbados as a whole.??

He told the students that they could be counted as "among the fortunate" to be supported by the organisation and praised them for having "good cognitive structures" to pursue their choice of study. He said: "The ability to stay focused on the task ahead can only be engendered by this level of support so when you remove the worries [you may have]… you have only one thing to do – work hard, study and stay focused!"

Minister Jones also referred to Government’s call to UWI students to "get out in three or four years!" and said: "You can do that by focusing and working hard… because at the end of the day, it costs significant sums out of taxpayers’ pockets to educate our people. You have to carry a responsibility for the maximisation or optimisation of those sums of monies."

Alluding to the cost of tuition in the Faculty of Humanities, he said this was about $30,000 to $33,000 a year.?? Mr. Jones stressed: "That’s the full salary of some people in Barbados, a year…

If you do three years it is just under $100,000 a year. ??You don’t have to look for that, somebody has to look for that to ensure that our people are educated and it is an investment which will not change because we understand what it is to take our people through nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary education.

"It is that kind of human capital formation that has made Barbados what it is and it has been recognised the world over that as a result of this investment Barbados is the society that it is. So we can’t be producing selfish people; we have to be producing people who will give back to the society and the giving back through our service organisations such as Rotary West, is important."

Meanwhile, Past President of the Rotary Club of Barbados West and Chairman of the Scholarship Committee, Joe Steinbok, said the scholarship, which has been in existence since 2001, was unique as it was given not only with respect to academic performance but based on students’ financial needs. He disclosed that the three scholarships awarded comprised one full scholarship and two partial, to the tune of $30,000 and were made possible through major sponsorship of several golf tournaments by Sandy Lane, Diamonds International and other corporate entities.??


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