Students from newer secondary schools in Barbados will have a greater opportunity to soar with the awarding of three new scholarships from next year.
This disclosure came from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who said children attending any school established after 1951, would be awarded the scholarships in air transport, maritime and culinary skills, which were areas very dear to Mr. Barrow’s heart.
She made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon as she addressed the unveiling of the plaque in celebration of the centenary of the birth of The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, at his birth place at The Garden, St. Lucy.
In making the announcement, Ms. Mottley said: “My Government, therefore, will, as of next year’s Errol Walton Barrow Day, agree to the issuance of three scholarships every year, on this date and in the areas associated with Mr. Barrow’s interest and life. I am not trying to replicate what we do at the University of the West Indies; he (Mr. Barrow) set the foundation for that and we reintroduced it two years ago.
“These three scholarships will be reserved for people from newer secondary schools in Barbados only …. I have chosen these three areas because I believe that they are … not covered by the University of the West Indies’ curriculum, for which we have committed to free education for our children.”
The Prime Minister said the newer secondary schools were chosen because Sir Grantley Adams and Mr. Barrow laid the platform for the mass democratization of education in the country. She told her audience that they would hear more when she speaks on National Heroes Day, the birth date of Sir Grantley.
After the ceremony, Ms. Mottley told the media that Government had committed itself to reforming the Common Entrance Examination largely because it had created too many divisions in society and the school system.
She continued: “The newer secondary schools have had a rough … position in the past and it has led to much division and stigma in this country. I believe that anything we can do to give opportunity to persons who came out of the newer secondary school should be done.”
She said that in the future every school would be an institution of excellence. “We need to have real conversations and to allow and inspire excellence at every level and these scholarships are an attempt to create opportunities in those three areas…and for which there is not now post-secondary opportunity,” she emphasized.
Ms. Mottley indicated that “some of the brightest and best in the nation and in this region” attended newer secondary schools and expressed the view that their stories should be told.