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A total of $16.5 million will be disbursed to 17 tertiary students, under the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH), over a three-year period, having excelled academically at the secondary level.

This was disclosed by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, at an awards ceremony, held on November 22 at the Ministry’s Head Office, 1F North Street, Kingston.

“Today we commend these students who have continued that educational leap towards success. They are seen as positive testimonials of what can be achieved through hard work and partnership, between the Government, families and the communities,” he said.

The Minister informed that the Ministry is pleased with the efforts of the beneficiaries, which signals that there is hope for the nation’s children, regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.

“The awardees before us today have attained over 10 passes with distinction in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exams (CAPE), and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations. They are among those that have been accepted to study Law, Medicine, and Nursing at the University of the West Indies (UWI), University of Technology (UTECH), Northern Caribbean University (NCU) and Brown’s Town Community College,” he noted.

The Minister said even though the beneficiaries being honoured are from poor economic backgrounds, such an occasion should cause us as a nation, to view persons who are considered most vulnerable, in a different light.

“As a society, we must pledge our support by helping to reform the social safety net in Jamaica, so that our children can have a brighter future. We must be resolute in helping families to build resilience to prevent them from falling further into poverty, in the event of adverse shocks. Importantly, we must establish a culture of caring, instead of giving up on our people,” he emphasised.

Mr. Kellier said that PATH remains committed to supporting the social welfare of the most vulnerable in Jamaica, despite budgetary constraints.

He lauded the remarkable contributions that parents, schools and the communities have made, regarding the success of the awardees.

“We see that there are teachers who are delivering the curriculum effectively; families who remain committed to their children’s education, irrespective of the challenges faced; communities creating infrastructure to allow our youth to flourish, and service providers dedicated to encouraging young Jamaicans to share our Vision 2030,” he told JIS News.

He appealed to the youth to rise above their circumstances, and take advantage of the opportunities that are made available by the Government and their families.

The Minister stressed that education is the key to a brighter future, and can help to reform the nation, with continued investment in the children, the future generation.

“We will continue to invest in our people, our children in particular, because we believe that they will create that avenue for change, if they continue to lead positive lives, by excelling academically. We as the Government will continue to replenish our human capital, because we are on a mission,” Mr. Kellier said.

The provision of the scholarships forms part of the Government’s commitment to supporting education, in an effort to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty.