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Scotia increases GSAT Shining Star scholarships

Published:Wednesday | June 24, 2015 | 6:00 AM

Twenty-two outstanding Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) scholars will be the recipients of the Scotiabank Shining Star Scholarships this year.

The number of scholarships has been increased from the previous 15 awarded annually since GSAT was established in 1999, as Scotiabank has revamped the programme and increased the number of Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Awards presented to top students from inner-city or rural schools, from 10 to 20.

"There are so many brilliant children without adequate funding, and we wanted to ensure they would be able to attend school without worrying about finances," said Joylene Griffiths Irving, executive director of the ScotiaFoundation.

"We saw this as an opportunity to truly impact the lives of some of those with potential, especially those coming out of difficult circumstances," she continued.

Each year, the ScotiaFoundation provides scholarships under the Student Care programme to pupils with outstanding performances in GSAT and students from weaker financial backgrounds.

The most popular of these are the Top Boy and Top Girl scholarships, the recipients of which receive awards of $1.4 million.

This year, the county scholarships have been removed, allowing an increase in the number of students who will be presented with the Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Awards.

Students chosen to receive these prizes are awarded automatically based on the students' ranks and scores by the Ministry of Education and the names subsequently sent to the ScotiaFoundation.

"We have been receiving a number of requests for ScotiaFoundation scholarships," said Griffiths Irving, "but we are unable to assist as the choice is always made by the Ministry of Education."

To date, 268 scholars have benefited from the Scotiabank Shining Star Scholarship programme.