AWRIGHT DEN!: 2012 list out
By Corey Worrell | Thu, June 07, 2012 - 12:00 AM
For the last two to three months I have been searching the newspapers for any information on the 2012 National Development Scholarships and each time I have come up empty.
On Sunday, I decided to ask a friend who works at the Ministry of Education to look into it for me and gather as much information as to whether the scholarships would be offered this year. On Monday my friend called and told me he had two forms for me and the deadline was Friday, June 15, which is next Friday.
That same night I did a search on Google for the 2012 Barbados National Development Scholarships and was directed to the Barbados Government Information Service website, which had all the information on the scholarships. I encourage all interested individuals to go to this website for more information.
The scholarships are listed under 13 general areas: physical development, environmental studies, allied health studies, medicine in specialized areas, management studies, culture studies, economics, legal studies, agriculture, science and technology, education, sports, and family services.
The list this year is similar to last year’s except that the Government has replaced tourism with sports.
Last year I wrote an article sharing my disappointments with the list and its requirements, but this year I want to offer recommendations which I believe have value.
• Recommendation No. 1 – The scholarships should be structured to facilitate both online and overseas studying.
In order to qualify for the scholarships, applicants must be citizens of Barbados between the ages of 18 and 40 and should have been accepted at an overseas university to pursue studies in the particular course.
In February of 2009, I went to the Ministry of Education to inquire about the scholarships. I told the lady at the ministry that I didn’t need to travel to obtain my postgraduate degree because it could be done online. I told her the duration of the degree was 18 months and the total cost was about $50 000. The lady told me that the scholarships were only for those students who were planning on studying overseas so I would not qualify.
I could not understand why I would be denied a scholarship because I would be studying online and not overseas. In my opinion, the country would be saving money since it didn’t have to provide living, travel or clothing allowances; it would not have to worry about me returning to the island because I wouldn’t have left.
The other challenge is the 18-40 age limit. This age bracket is a hefty percentage of the working class, many of whom have families with children. It would be a significant challenge for any parent who works to provide for his family to leave them behind to pursue studies overseas.
• Recommendation No. 2 – The areas of study for the scholarships should be released to the public eight to 12 months in advance.
I believe it would be more productive if potential applicants could see in advance what developmental areas the country needs, whether they can fill those needs and thus be surer in their university application process, which can be very costly.
• Recommendation No. 3 – Leadership, film and music production should be added to the list.
Leadership and management are two different fields and should be treated as such. It is evident that we have many managers in this country but very few leaders. This may be one of the reasons why growth and productivity in some of our institutions are slow. The strength, success and influence of a business or a country is heavily dependent on who their leaders are.
More and more people are getting into film and music production and if we want our product to be of the best quality, which increases its monetary value, we don’t only need the best equipment, but also well trained producers.
Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth youth ambassador.
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