Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn disclosed that his Ministry was forced to put a temporary hold on the scholarship program this year following the hurricanes and the economic implications that resulted.
While speaking in the House of Assembly on 23 March Hon. Walwyn disclosed that the situation was a hard one considering that the scholarship program allows many who otherwise would not have been able to afford higher learning to pursue a brighter future.
“You know how it is to have a child who you could see the potential in him/her from the time they are small, but because their parents don’t have money they cannot get any further than secondary school. You know what a joy it is for a government to be able to pick up those lives and transform those lives…for them to get a scholarship and come back and make something of themselves and for many families it is a joy to come back to know you were the first person in your family to have a degree. It is a joy. A joy that we have had to put on hold this year because we could not afford to send anybody off for scholarship,” the Minister said.
However it would appear that the scholarship program issues started way before hurricane Irma as a 2015 report that was tabled in the most recent House of Assembly sitting (27 April) stated that program had funding difficulties before.
According to the report the scholarship program was growing while the funding was decreasing. The report stated: “The Scholarship Program continues to grow each year; however the budget allocated for the administration of scholarships proved to be insufficient to cover all tuition disbursements for the entire academic year.”