PM Douglas With Sandy Point Students
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
August 19, 2014 (CUOPM)
A program geared towards boosting post-secondary education and training across the entire Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis was launched Sunday night.
Minister of Education, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty said REACH – Recognizing Everyone’s Ability to Climb Higher ““ is a collaboration between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) and is a vehicle for assisting in the modern transformation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The REACH programme, through the provision of two-year scholarships and grant financing, creates opportunities for students in the Federation leaving Secondary School to easily pursue higher academic learning and certified technical and vocational training. Secondly, for our students graduating from our post-secondary institutions seeking employment, the REACH Programme helps them to pursue short-term professional and life and work skills training, so critically important for the development of a competitive and efficient workforce,” said Minister Carty , who added:
“Never again will a parent’s inability to finance an education at the CFBC, the Nevis Sixth Form College, the AVEC, or any other post-secondary training programme in St. Kitts and Nevis, limit their children’s chances of pursuing higher education and acquiring skills that prepare them for the world of work.”
He disclosed that as a tribute to the outstanding achievements of St. Kitts and Nevis students in the 2014 CXC examinations, the R-E-A-C-H programme (Recognizing Everyone’s Ability to Climb Higher) will be implemented in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis at the start of the new academic year, September 2014.
“As of September 2014, every high school student enrolling in the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) in St. Kitts or the Nevis Sixth Form College, will be provided with a basic yearly academic allowance in the amount of EC$2,500.00 to assist them in meeting their financial obligations associated with post-secondary education.
“To go further to encourage students to strive for excellence and to raise the bar with respect to minimum qualification among our young people in St. Kitts and Nevis, the government has decided to award an additional EC$250.00 to the student for every CXC/CSEC subject passed above five subject passes up to 8 subjects passes, and further, an additional EC$100.00 for every subject pass above 8 subjects passes,” said the Education Minister.
He said that in an effort to boost student enrollment in special interest areas of study, students who enroll at college to study any two of the following subjects – Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Foreign Languages ““ will receive an additional EC$1000.00 per year as a special incentive for pursuing these subjects.
“Let me use an example to clarify the award. A student from the SSS, for example, who passes 10 subjects and is enrolling at the CFBC to study Mathematics and Biology, two of the special interest areas, among other subjects, will receive EC$2,500.00 for his basic academic allowance, a further EC$750.00 for the 3 additional passes above 5 subject passes, and EC$200 for the additional two subject passes above eight subject passes, for a total academic allowance of EC$3450.00 for each academic year,” said Mr. Carty.
“To reiterate, in an attempt to boost post-secondary enrollment and to give adequate preparation for our young people for the world of work and for university level education later, this award scheme is available to secondary school graduates who are pursuing post-secondary education at the CFBC or the Nevis Sixth Form College,” he told viewers and listeners.
“Our country’s rapid development and advancement requires that we make every citizen even more productive. Hence, there must also be equal attention given to skills development and technical and vocational education and training. Therefore, students graduating from Form 5 at High School and who are enrolling at AVEC to pursue the Caribbean Vocational Qualification or CVQ programme will be provided a grant in the amount of EC$2,000.00 per academic year to assist them in their pursuit. Students transferring from AVEC to the CFBC under this important REACH programme will also be given the same assistance,” said Minister Carty.
“We are building knowledge; we are building skills; we are building character; and we are building a better community. In the pursuit of these goals, student awardees attending AVEC will be expected to perform a minimum of four hours per month volunteer service at an approved charitable/non-profit organization of their own choosing. Indeed, we do anticipate as a consequence a catalysis of charitable/non-profit organizations in St. Kitts and Nevis, henceforth,” said Minister Carty.
“To be certain, these awards are also available to those students who are already enrolled at CFBC, AVEC and the Nevis Sixth Form College, and are in their second year or repeating Year 1 starting in 2014,” Mr. Carty said.
He said that the REACH programme (Recognizing Everyone’s Ability to Climb Higher) does not cater only to students enrolling at the CFBC, the Nevis Form College or AVEC.
“It also caters to students who are leaving these institutions and are preparing themselves for the world of work. This government believes that adequate attention must also be paid to preparing young people for the world of work. This makes for a highly productive workforce serving both the private and public sectors whose efficiency is so fundamental to our continued rapid economic evolution. As a result, students who graduate from Fifth Form, AVEC, CFBC or the Nevis Sixth Form College and intend to seek employment in that same year, are entitled to an award in the amount of EC$1,400.00 per month to enroll in a three-month Professional Training programme,” said Minister Carty.
Those students must enroll to receive advanced-level training leading to a Microsoft Office Specialist Certification, facilitated by local Microsoft certified business specialists, or pursue certified training courses and workshops in Life and Work Skills, facilitated by the University of the West Indies Open Campus in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We believe in the empowerment of people through education and training, and at this pivotal moment is our nation’s development, we offer this innovative and life-changing REACH programme – Recognising Everyone’s Ability to Climb Higher, that will benefit over one thousand students of our beautiful Federation as they seek to advance themselves,” said Minister Carty.
“The overall objectives of the REACH programme to provide equitable access to post secondary education for qualified students, build competencies that match employment needs in our Federation; further reduce the rate of unemployment among the youth; develop the skill sets to advance the transition of our country to a services-oriented economy; assist job seekers to adapt readily to the work environment; create opportunities for self-employment through certified vocational and technical training; and accelerate the effective implementation of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification programme, CVQ, to guarantee the marketability of skilled certification, and facilitate our citizens’ integration into the new and emerging CARICOM Single Market and Economy,” Minister Carty stated.
Qualifying student in St. Kitts and in Nevis can apply for the REACH scholarship via the SIDF website at WWW.SKNSIDF.ORG. The closing date for application for this year 2014 is 10th September.