It’s a new year gift for 48 aspiring healthcare practitioners in Grenada as they have been awarded scholarships worth $19m to be part of the January 2017 intake at St. George’s University (SGU).
The scholarships were awarded to students who performed exceptionally well in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and T. A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) associated degrees for the academic year, 2015-2016.
The recipients were present at a ceremony held last week Friday to mark government’s first scholarship awards function for 2017 at the Public Workers Union (PWU) building in Tanteen, St. George.
Addressing the gathering, Education Minister, Anthony Boatswain, encouraged the recipients to maintain high grade point averages, warning them that if their GPA falls below the requirement, they could lose their scholarships.
He also reminded them of their obligation to serve the country for a minimum of three years upon completion of their studies, as part of the bond that they will sign with the State.
“We are investing in you and we expect returns on our investment,” he told the scholarship awardees.
Minister of State with responsibility for Human Resource Development and the Environment, Senator Simon Stiell, used the opportunity to reflect upon the significant contributions that the university, which is celebrating its 40 anniversary this year, has made to the country’s economy over the years.
“The St. George’s University is contributing somewhere in the region of 20% to our Gross Development Product (GDP). So it’s a significant part of our economy (and) through the partnership agreement, which was renegotiated upwards, we got more scholarships,” he said.
Sen. Stiell spoke of the heavy investment that government has been making in education within the last 4 years, with “over 670 scholarships awarded valuing $120m.”
This multi-million dollar investment he said, “also comes at a time when we have more doctors, healthcare professionals, and nurses today than we have ever had in recent times.”
SGU was brought into the country by the labour party government of late Prime Minister Eric Gairy after the island attained independence from Britain in 1974.