The Ministry of Labour and Social Security will provide a total of 13 scholarships to tertiary students under the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH), valued at $10 million.
This was disclosed by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, at the 2012 PATH Top Achievers/Scholars Awards Ceremony, held on July 4, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston.
He informed that the scholarships will be awarded to students who have excelled in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examination, and have matriculated to tertiary institutions, for the academic year 2012/2013.
“As we salute the success of our girls, we are inspired by the stories of young males like Chevano Baker, who attained 10 subjects at the Grade One level in the CSEC Examination, and Kyle Tomlinson, who attained 11 subjects, nine at the Grade One level and two at the Grade Two level,” he said.
Mr. Kellier said that given the nation’s challenges, there is hope for male PATH beneficiaries who sat the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), and attained over 95 per cent in all subject areas.
In addition, he cited the active roles that these male students have played within their respective schools, which have enhanced their personal development, despite their circumstances.
The Minister told JIS News that the Ministry is pleased with the cohesiveness of the family structures that have supported these students, resulting in their overall success, because boys at the primary and secondary school levels are known to underperform.
“I salute the mothers and fathers who have stood behind these children, ensuring that they attain the best, regardless of their situation. It is our responsibility to assist these families to reach their fullest potential,” he said.
He informed that despite the budgetary constraints, for this fiscal year, the Government has provided some $4.1 billion in support of PATH, which represents a 15 per cent increase in the total allocation.
“Our nation is on a Mission, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has its role to play, in ensuring that all Jamaicans are able to participate in the Vision of Jamaica, as ‘A Place to Live, Work, raise families and do business’. Our mandate is very clear in this regard, and we acknowledge this responsibility and take it very seriously. It is a clear indication of our support to ensuring the social safety net, even in times of fiscal challenges,” he emphasised.
The Minister said it is moments like these that, “we pause as a nation, to acknowledge the success of our young people.”
“As we look to the future and the possibilities for success presented by these young people, innovation must be the new benchmark for our modus operandi. We must come to the table with new ideas and new thinking. Old approaches to old problems will not get us much further than where we are. It is only through inventiveness that we can overcome the struggles we face, and chart our way to a new Jamaica,” he noted.
Some of the supporting bodies which, over the years, have continued to assist the PATH programme include: Xsomo International, the National Commercial Bank (NCB) Foundation, Jamaica Broilers, the schools, the health sector, and communities.
By Jeneva Gordon, JIS PRO