The Ministry of Education on Tuesday began payment of EC$500 to each student who obtained 5 CSEC passes or more, including English language and mathematics, or 2 GCE A’Levels or CAPE passes plus communication studies/ Caribbean studies or GCE general paper in the 2013 external examinations.

Payments were made following a small ceremony at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, Villa Campus, where Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves delivered remarks.

In 2013, 606 students met the established criteria, a 15 percent increase over the 2012 number of 527.

The number of CSEC awardees in 2013 is 337, a 12.3 percent increase over the 2012 number of 300.

The number of CAPE/ GCE A-Level awardees in 2013 is 269,  an 18.5 percent increase over the 2012 number of 227.

The Ministry of Education said students are expected to use the award to defray costs related to their attendance at post-secondary educational institutions, payment for subjects for which they have registered under the CAPE/ GCE A-Level external examinations and preparation for entry into the workforce.