The Grenada Government has been forced to come up with $654,385.00 to help finance the cost of ten local students who are undertaking four year studies at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Trinidad.
This was announced by Minister in the Ministry of Education with responsibility for Tertiary Education, Skills Development and Educational Outreach, Pamela Moses at Tuesday’s post-Cabinet Press Briefing at the Ministerial Complex.
The Keith Rowley-led administration in the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago has taken a decision to cancel its scholarships to Grenadian students.
The female government minister told reporters that St. George’s was informed a few weeks ago that Trinidad and Tobago will not be able to continue sponsoring students through the scholarship arrangement that was in place.
“They have indicated that they are unable to do so this year. As we know, Trinidad is going through its own economic conditions that it has to address. We do not have all the information but we know that they would be going through the IMF programme – they have their own financial challenges…they have their own challenges and they are unable to continue”, she said.
Moses stated that this turn of events has nothing to do with reports circulated in a recent IMF report that Grenada has been defaulting on debt payments to Port-of-Spain.
“There were delays in payments, we are fully aware of that but that has been addressed. At present, we have to make an immediate payment of $128,000 this week so that the persons can get in there”, she said.
“We are in a position (to pay) and we are committed to do so – government also makes monthly contributions to the institution and yes there are times there may have been delays but we are servicing and financing that,” she added.
According to Moses, government’s decision to step in and fund the Grenada students in Trinidad fits well into its own fiscal space.
“We would like you to know that this cost is within our fiscal space – our 2% fiscal space. We are honoured as a government to be able to do this and to be able to ensure that our students go out there with high hopes…”, she said.
The minister announced that government budgets annually one million dollars towards the payment of economic cost bursaries to UWI to provide an education for Grenadian students.
“… We are proud to announce that we are able to sponsor these 10 students annually for the next four years because of our fiscal discipline that we have been exhibiting and practicing for the last three or four year,” she said.