Central Westmoreland students receive educational grants
In a gesture, which brought smiles to the faces of many parents, Dwayne Vaz, the member of parliament for Central Westmoreland, handed out education grants, valued at over J$1 million, to 49 students from his constituency on Tuesday.
Thirteen Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) students and 36 tertiary-level students were among the awardees at the ceremony, at the Llandilo Youth Centre, Savanna-la-Mar. In attendance were councillors of the Westmoreland Parish Council and representatives of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Youth and Culture, and the Constituency Development Fund.
"This initiative is the first one in the constituency, where we are awarding the top GSAT students from each school, and this came up after long discussions within our executive. We insisted that we had to find a way to ensure that these students here are rewarded," Vaz said in his keynote address at the ceremony. "We also have the tertiary level students, and we are awarding them for their continued excellence in their educational journey so far."
Vaz also noted that the awards will include a community-service criterion for future applicants.
"A couple of you may have gotten the tertiary awards last year, from when we initiated it under the late Roger Clarke, but the door is always open for you to get again, but certain criteria will be put in place to ensure that you are doing well in school," said Vaz. "Also, we are going to be adding a constituency service element to this programme, which you will be informed about in good time.
"We understand that in order to reach where we want to reach and get our communities to the levels where we want them to be, we the ones who get opportunities must give back to where we come from," added Vaz.
In his address, Reverend Hartley Perrin, Custos Rotulorum of Westmoreland, urged the recipients to make the most of their educational advantages, for the development of the nation.
"An educated populace is one that not only expects, but demands more from its leaders. Education is the vehicle that has the capacity to transport us to a better place in our developmental process," said Perrin. "I appeal to the recipients to utilise the resources that have been given ... wisely and effectively. The future of this nation is in your hands; grasp it with boldness and courage. Do not squander any opportunity given to you, but accept same with gratitude."