JIS News

A total of 26 Jamaican students have been awarded scholarships to study at universities in Cuba, under the 2009/10 Cuban Scholarship Programme.
The scholarship awards, which were presented by Cuba’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Gisela Garcia Rivera, at a ceremony held on June 14 at the Edna Manley College auditorium in Kingston, will enable the students to pursue study in the fields of medicine, architecture, pharmacy, physical education and sports, and humanities.
Jodi-Ann Jones, one of 20 students, who will study medicine, expressed gratitude for the award. “I felt very grateful for the opportunity because without it I don’t know how I would have been able to study medicine, because it is a lot of money, so I’m very thankful and looking forward to going to Cuba and doing my best and making everyone proud,” she told JIS News.
Shaneka Frazer, who will study pharmacy, said she was elated after hearing the news. “It is amazing. I will get to learn a new language. I am still in shock, happy, excited and everything,” she said.
Shaneka, a former student of Mannings High School in Westmoreland, told JIS News that she is familiar with the Spanish language having obtained Grade 2 at the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) level. “I am really good with the reading and writing but not so good with the conversation so that will pose a kind of challenge …but I think I am ready,” she stated.
Another scholarship winner, Javaine Loney, is also looking forward to experiencing a new culture. “When I got the call that I have been successful with the scholarship I was very, very excited; words cannot express,” he said.
Head of the Cuba/Jamaica Collaboration Unit, Jorge Crespo, informed that since 2005, the Cuban Embassy has received 1,002 applications for scholarships from Jamaican students.
“We have processed 824 applications from Jamaican applicants and we have awarded 253 scholarships to students studying higher courses,” he informed.
Mr. Crespo, who spoke through a translator, said the selection process was difficult. “We would really like to have the capacity to give more scholarships to all those candidates meeting the requirement but to date it is not possible,” he noted.
Since 1961, some 50,000 students from 129 countries have graduated from Cuban universities, with more than 26,000 of these students completing higher level courses. Currently, at least 50,000 students from 121 countries are studying in Cuba.

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