- Some 1,000 tertiary level students from PATH households across the island are to benefit from scholarships to complete their studies.
- The Government of Jamaica is providing $100 million in bursaries, under the PATH Tertiary Bursary to assist these students.
- The initiative is also in keeping with the Government’s strategic priority for fiscal year 2013/2014.
Some 1,000 tertiary level students from Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) households across the island are to benefit from scholarships to complete their studies.
The Government of Jamaica is providing $100 million in bursaries, under the PATH Tertiary Bursary to assist these students.
Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, on Wednesday, November 13, signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with representatives of the 18 institutions, through which the bursaries will be offered, during a ceremony at the Knutsford Court hotel in New Kingston.
Mr. Kellier said the programme represents a significant investment not only in the youth of Jamaica, but also in the development and growth of the country as a whole.
The initiative is also in keeping with the Government’s strategic priority for fiscal year 2013/2014, aimed at enhancing social protection for the most vulnerable and providing educational advancement for all citizens.
“[This] investment ensures that some of the nation’s brightest and most innovative minds are not left behind because of poverty,” Mr. Kellier stated.
“Any national development strategy that engages the private sector, civil society and academia, especially in relation to our youth, is sure to increase the prospects for national success,” he added.
Mr. Kellier also commended the tertiary institutions that have come on board, pointing out that their participation is a “sign of confidence” in the promise that if properly trained, Jamaica’s wide-ranging human resource, will be able to meet the needs of the labour market.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to seize the opportunity by giving of their best. He also implored them to adopt an attitude of volunteerism, by investing their time and talents in the development of their communities and country.
“I implore you to do this, if only because you have a responsibility to your country by helping to uplift yourself and your family,” he said.
Students under the programme will receive $100,000 each towards tuition fees, boarding costs or book expenses.
For a student to qualify for the PATH Tertiary Bursary intervention, he or she must have received a PATH benefit while in secondary school; be enrolled in their second, third or fourth year in any tertiary level institution accredited by the University Council of Jamaica during fiscal year 2013/14; and attained a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or above in their first year of study.
They can apply for the bursary through their institutions and payments will only be made to the school after a submission is made to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security by the institution.
Director of Social Security in the Ministry, Denzil Thorpe, said a major objective of the tertiary bursary intervention is to assist members of PATH families to become employable.
He noted that since the inception of PATH, there has been significant investment in primary and secondary education. However, the ability of the programme to realistically reduce the inter-generational cycle of poverty is affected by the fact that some families have been unable to fund their children’s education beyond the secondary level.
Mr. Thorpe said the government’s goal is to sustain the gains made by PATH by assisting families to complete tertiary education thereby making them employable and self-sustainable.
Now in its 11th year, PATH has positively impacted the lives of more than 400,000 Jamaicans in approximately 130,000 households across the island, through the provision of cash transfers, and interventions geared toward developing human capital.
A 2012 targeting assessment of the programme highlighted that it has been successful in providing benefits to Jamaicans, who are in need of social protection.
The assessment indicates that targeting of households for PATH benefits has been fairly accurate, with over 80 per cent of households being below the national food poverty line.