The Government on Wednesday launched a $30-million scholarship grant to be provided through the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service/PetroCaribe Development Fund (PDF).
Addressing the launch, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Ruel Reid, said the initiative reflects measures being taken by the Government to assist students to fund higher education.
“The Ministry is extremely grateful to PetroCaribe and the Ministry of Finance for facilitating this important (programme). It is consistent with our aspiration to have all our youth going on to tertiary institutions to gain at least a first degree, occupational or transfer degree by age 30. In this fourth industrial revolution, we have to have a cadre of trained professionals to get the job done,” Reid said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance and the Public Service Audley Shaw said the move is part of a multisectoral approach to facilitate more opportunities for human-capital development, which is one of the most important aspects of national development.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the ministry and PetroCaribe was signed in 2015 to implement a tertiary scholarship programme. Since then, approximately 25 awards totalling $7.9 million have been disbursed to students pursuing studies at Caribbean Maritime Institute, Shortwood Teachers’ College, and the University of Technology, Jamaica.
In 2016, the PDF Board approved the additional grant for the scholarship programme. It is anticipated that the increase will make it easier for those pursuing higher education to achieve their career goals.
From the grant, which is being administered through the ministry’s Scholarship and Assistance Unit, scholarships will be awarded to Jamaican citizens pursuing undergraduate studies (academic or technical), postgraduate studies, or research leading to a university degree or professional development in key growth industries — energy, entrepreneurship, logistics and Spanish.
The programme targets Jamaican citizens from lower socio-economic and vulnerable groups who are between the ages of 17 and 57, including women, persons with disabilities, and people impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Applications for the PDF scholarship programme are now open. For more information, visit: http://www.mof.gov.jm/scholarships.
Source: Jamaica Information Service