Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
“Students on scholarships can expect for the bond they signed to be enforced,” Minister for Education, Dr. the Hon. Natalio Wheatley mentioned in the House of Assembly on Monday, June 3, as he announced that the previously paused scholarship programme has been resumed.
However, the Minister emphasized that it will not be business as usual with the scholarship program, and he stressed that the time has come for the Territory to benefit from the investment that has been made through the issuing of scholarships for tertiary study.
Hon. Wheatley told the House of Assembly, “Over the years we have allocated millions upon millions of dollars to the training of our students.” Unfortunately, the Minister explained that efforts to reap from this investment were never made.
“Scholarship students must sign a bond, but it is rare that this bond is enforced. Therefore, we have many recipients of scholarships who live and work abroad,” Hon. Wheatley explained.
Now, he said that it would be ensured that the students who receive government scholarships give back to the Territory.
Issues caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria resulted in the scholarship programme being placed on hold last year. However, the recently appointed Minister for Education announced that the programme is now accepting applications for the 2020/2021 academic year. Hon. Wheatley said that persons who wish to apply must do so before September 30.
He told the House of Assembly on Monday that the majority of scholarships will be allocated to graduates from the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College for two years abroad.
“These scholarships will be in specified areas of study. For instance, you will have a specific number of scholarships in health-related fields, technical fields, administrative fields, etc. These specified areas of study will be tied directly to the labour demands of the Territory,” Hon. Wheatley explained.
He also noted that, “Only a specific amount of total scholarships will be awarded every year, and the process will be a competitive one considering a student’s overall academic performance.”