In its quest to continue being a good corporate citizen, telecommunication provider, LIME has, for yet another year provided a group of students from five Parishes on the island with the opportunity to receive a secondary education for the next five years.
The presentation of five-year scholarships to nine students, which is now into its 22nd year of existence, took place last week Thursday at the Grenada Trade Centre in Grand Anse, St. George’s.
The scholarship programme which to date, has benefited 350 students from since its inception in 1991 has cost the company just about $1.6m.
During the ceremony, the company’s General Manager Angus Steele extolled some words of wisdom to the new batch of students as he urged them to think about their future, the current economic environment, as well as the investment LIME is making in them as they venture into secondary school.
Steele who spoke of education being a pillar of LIME said it is not easy for the company to continue doing programmes like the scholarship fund.
“Please take our investment in you seriously. It is something we will continue to do, but we look forward to you doing your part. We certainly look forward to your parents supporting you and your teachers,” he remarked.
The LIME General manager used the opportunity to once again call on government to remove the Value Added Tax (VAT) on broadband service.
He believes that with the removal of VAT that was introduced in 2010 as a consumption tax on broadband that more families will be able to access Internet service for their children who need it in their studies and research.
He indicated that as a technology company, LIME prides itself in delivering Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and ICT opportunities to the nation, especially to the young persons.
Education and Human Resource Development Minister Anthony Boatswain who assisted in the awards presentation admonished the students to value the purpose of their education.
Minister Boatswain urged the awardees to not just consider the scholarship as a tool for their own personal development, but as an instrument for social and economic change.
“This is the tool that would help you to transform our economy from being underdeveloped, from being plagued with high levels of unemployment to one where we can have unemployment below ten percent,” he said.
According to Minister Boatswain, the six-month old New National Party (NNP) government believes that education can contribute to the holistic development of the country, and that it must be relevant to the development needs of the island.
He made a clarion call for education to fall in line with a knowledge-based economy, which should be driven by science and technology, in particular ICT.
The senior Government Minister said that as a student of economic development, he has been taught at different levels that the most important factor in the process of economic growth and transformation is not finance nor natural resource, but it is the human resource.
“Unless we focus on the human capital aspect we will have and continue to have high levels of unemployment,” he told the recipients.
The Education Minister pointed out that it pains him when he notices the number of young people who would have spent as much as six years in secondary school having to compete with their peers who were not as fortunate as them for menial road work.
He believes that the education system should ensure that individuals are not just given pure academic subjects that would not permit them to find a job immediately, but should be geared at producing individuals who can get jobs in the emerging areas of ICT and Science and Technology.
“Even if you (the students) have 15 or 16 subjects at the CXC Level, make sure you have a skill because the jobs would not be for those who have purely academics, but those with skills,” he said.
Minister Boatswain commended LIME for recognising the importance of investing in the young people as a means of transforming the local economy.
“I want to applaud LIME for taking the initiative in helping to build our human resource. Twenty-two years of involvement in the process of providing scholarships to our young people is not something we should take idly,” he added.
LIME provides assistance to the students in the form of books, uniform, transportation and exam fees. In some cases students are also provided with lunch, school fees, stationery items, and guidance counseling for both parents and children.
The list of scholarship awardees are from St. George’s – Andelyn Matthew of Springs who previously attended South St, George Government School and will now move on to St. Joseph’s Convent, St. George’s, Chad St. Paul from Melrose, a former student of Beaulieu Roman Catholic School who will be attending Wesley College, Chad Noel of River Road who graduated from St. George’s Methodist School and is now a student of Mac Donald College, and Craig Joseph of Vendome who attended the Roman Catholic School in his village and is now headed for Presentation Brothers College.
The recipients from St. Mark’s are Adonna Paterson from Diamond who attended Bonaire Government School and is now a student of St. Mark’s Secondary, and Jannel Antoine of Resource, formerly attended Samaritan Presbyterian and is now a student of St. Mark’s Secondary.
The rest of awardees are Latisha Jones from River Sallee, St. Patrick’s who attended River Sallee Government School and will now attend Grenada Seventh Day Comprehensive, Rickisha Sylvester from Soubise, St. Andrew’s, a former student of St. Giles Government who now moves onto St. David’s Catholic Secondary, and from Gouyave Estate, St. John’s is Treasher Joseph who attended St. John’s Roman Catholic and is now a student of Happy Hill Secondary School.
Selection of the students was based on academic merit and financial needs.
Nomination of the students was forwarded to the Ministry of Education by principals of the primary schools.
In addition to welcoming the new batch of students, 22 of the existing scholarship awardees received awards for attaining averages ranging from 70 to one hundred percent in their academic performances.
The 11 students who wrote this year’s CXC Exams were also recognized.
They are Desiree Noel, Dwuana Cudjoe, Jeriel Reuben, Jonathan Quashie, Leisha Mark, Louvel Joseph, Marvin Hosten, Nisha Benjamin, Shane Whiteman, Shelisa Alexander and Stephon Simon.
The two females, Mark and Joseph who are from the group of the 2013 graduates have been awarded the LIME TAMCC Extension Scholarship.
Mark who is from Paradise, St. Andrew’s and a student from St. Joseph’s Convent, Grenville received passes in all of the ten CXC Subjects with seven Grade One’s and four distinctions in Integrated Science, Office Administration, Principles of Account and Principles of Business.
Joseph from Belle Vue, St. David’s attended St. Joseph’s Convent, St. George’s and was successful in all of the ten CXC Subject she wrote with five Grade One’s, and distinctions in English A and Information Technology.
Three who went on to further their education at the T. A. Marryshow Community College are Jonathan Ramirez, Lentiria Houston and Rachel Gilbert.
A special sports award was presented to Johann Jeremiah, a medium pace bowler on the Grenada Under-19 Cricket Team.
The young Cricketer who attends the Grenada Boys Secondary School is said to have had “a good school year,” and was awarded by LIME.
Jeremiah placed second in his class with an average of 70.67.