Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 02, 2016 (SKNIS): Forty-two students are better positioned to achieve success in their scholastic pursuits following the award of scholarships by the St. Kitts-Nevis National Education Foundation (SKNNEF).
At a ceremony at the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank on Tuesday (February 02), the first SKNNEF scholarships ever, were presented to primary, secondary and tertiary school students under four headings: the CPLT20 Scholarship, the Gender-based Scholarship, the Demonstrative Need Scholarship, and the TVET Scholarship.
Citing a quote from American pioneer educator, Francis W. Parker, SKNNEF board member, Miselle O’Brien, said the “end and aim of all education should be the development of character.”
“The development of the person as a whole was part of our focus when choosing the types of scholarships,” Ms. O’Brien said, noting that there were a total of 85 applicants. “As such, areas for which scholarships were granted were not only in the field of traditional academics but also in the areas of sports and technical vocational educational training. We also recognized our young males as a vulnerable group and so they are the focus of our gender-based scholarships.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Honourable Shawn Richards, congratulated the scholarship awardees.
“These young people are truly representative of our nation’s wealth and embody the tenacity of our people, who despite extenuating circumstances, are driven to succeed,” he said. “Today, your names will be recorded in history as being the SKNNEF’s first set of scholarship recipients.”
Deputy PM Richards encouraged the recipients to remain focused on achieving their goals and suggested that when they find success they remember to share their time and resources to give back to the Foundation.
The Ministry of Education views education as a pathway to the further development of this great nation and takes its responsibility very seriously,” Minister Richards stated. “We are fully engaged in raising the standard of education in the Federation by maximizing all of our resources to ensure that our teachers are utilizing best practices, which will inevitably promote learning among all our students.”
As part of the overall development strategy for education, Honourable Richards announced that improvements to educational facilities, specialized training for teachers, and increased partnerships with non-governmental organizations will take place.
The deputy prime minister assured the foundation’s directorate of the Government’s continued support and urged all stakeholders to embrace the ministry’s agenda to advance the standards of education.
The scholarship ceremony was attended by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Ionie Liburd Willett, Chief Education Officer, Dr. Tricia Esdaille, and other members of the ministry. Peter Breen, Public Relations Officer for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 tournament also attended. CPL donated funds to the foundation in 2015.
The SKNNEF was launched in October 2014 to provide deserving, disadvantaged students with an opportunity to receive an excellent education. It is managed by an independent board of councilors and is funded primarily through private donations and fundraisers.