- Twenty-five year-old Kadene Arboine grew up in St. Mary with her grandmother, before moving to live with her mother and four siblings in Bull Bay, St. Andrew.
- In an interview with JIS News, Kadene describes how, after coming dangerously close to being deregistered from medical school in her final year, assistance through a joint Ministry of Education/Ministry of Health one-off programme became her saving grace.
- This support was facilitated by a directive of the Cabinet that funds, totalling approximately $60 million, be taken jointly from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health’s budgets for this initiative.
Twenty-five year-old Kadene Arboine grew up in St. Mary with her grandmother, before moving to live with her mother and four siblings in Bull Bay, St. Andrew.
Her mother, the sole breadwinner for the family, is a vendor who sells footwear for babies and children in Downtown, Kingston. During holiday breaks, Kadene would help her mother with the arduous task of plying her wares in the busy town.
Today, the recent medical school graduate, who holds a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from the University of the West Indies, Mona, is an intern at the Kingston Public Hospital.
Kadene has not selected a specialization as yet, but her hope after completing the year-long internship is to be able to further her studies overseas.
Despite her well-laid out plans for the future, the humble and determined Ardenne High alumna, is all too aware of the struggles it took to get this far.
In an interview with JIS News, Kadene describes how, after coming dangerously close to being deregistered from medical school in her final year, assistance through a joint Ministry of Education/Ministry of Health one-off programme became her saving grace.
Kadene says she was not approved for a student loan in her first year at medical school, but made the decision to start the programme just the same, in the hope that the tuition payments could be made over time.
However, with very little financial resources, this proved difficult. “So, I had an outstanding balance being brought forward [to the following year]. Even when we tried to pay some amount, this outstanding balance would still be lagging behind,” she explains.
She says when her second year tuition was added to that figure, she ended up being in debt of almost $1 million to the University. Although she was able to receive assistance through the Student Loan Bureau for the upcoming years, her debt remained insurmountable. On the cusp of her fifth and final year, she was told she would be deregistered if payments were not made.
With the never-ending support of her mother, Henrietta Rawle, Kadene embarked on a mission to get assistance.
“The type of mother that she is, she decided she wouldn’t just sit down; she was going to go out and try different avenues. We wrote letters to various organisations, and then someone suggested we go to the Ministry of Education,” she notes.
Kadene says she was one of over 100 students from the medical faculty who were given assistance through the one-off programme for the 2014/15 period.
This support was facilitated by a directive of the Cabinet that funds, totalling approximately $60 million, be taken jointly from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health’s budgets for this initiative.
At a press conference recently, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, introduced Kadene, who had stopped by the Ministry’s head office to say thanks for the assistance.
“We were acting on the instructions of the Prime Minister, who has made it quite clear that no student who is interested and capable, must be held back on the basis of financial inadequacy of their family,” Rev. Thwaites said.
He commended Kadene for successfully completing her degree. “That is why we do what we do; so that those who have never had the opportunity for the highest level of education for which they are capable, are in fact able to secure it. Our zeal is to give everyone the opportunity to get the best education,” the Minister said.
Kadene expressed gratitude for the help she received. “I am very grateful. At one point I didn’t know where or how [it was going to work]. Without the assistance or without that money, I would probably not have finished,” she said, noting that outstanding balance was cleared through the programme.
“A lot of persons aspire to be doctors and cannot afford to do so. Why not give them the opportunity to do what they want to do once they have that potential? It’s a great initiative and I have experienced it and it is a wonderful feeling to be able to say, ‘well this is my dream and I have fulfilled my dream’,” she tells JIS News.
For now, she is happy she made the decision to do her internship at the Kingston Public Hospital, Jamaica’s premier healthcare institution, and the largest public hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean.
“It is an experience; some days are better than others. It is hard work but the experience will outdo all of that,” Kadene says.