Four hundred and forty-five students at the Villa Campus of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) on Friday received EC$500 in cash as an incentive for obtaining five CSEC subjects including mathematics and English.
The initiative, which was started in 2005 by the Unity Labour Party administration, has been credited for the improvement in students’ results.
In addition, 165 students who obtained at least two CAPE subjects including communication studies will also receive EC$500, as part of the “Education Revolution” thrust.
In his address, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said that since 2005, 5,127 students have benefitted from the programme to the tune of $2.6 million dollars.
He noted that when the programme began in 2005, the requirement was 5 subjects including English. Back then, 571 students received the EC$500.
Gonsalves said that the programme was restructured to challenge students to unlock their fullest potential, hence the inclusion of mathematics. He revealed that the following year the numbers declined, but students have improved over the years.
Gonsalves reiterated that as part of the “Education Revolution”, the vision of his government is to have one university graduate on average per household by 2025.
Gonsalves also noted that SVG is the non-campus nation with the highest enrolment at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and is the number one country to obtain students admission to the UWI campuses and over 2,000 Vincentian students are currently enrolled at the university.
He said that when his government came to office in 2001 SVG was number 5. He said that his government will strive to maintain this standard and urged students to work towards academic excellence.
Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer Lou-Ann Gilchrist congratulated the students and their parents on this significant achievement, adding that it is a testimony of the investment from parents.
Acting Director of the SVGCC, Laura Browne admonished students to take full advantage of the opportunities offered to them and to ensure the facilities are well taken care of.