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Bursaries covered, says Jones

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

Bursaries covered, says Jones

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GOVERNMENT HAS COMMITTED to providing millions of dollars more to help hundreds of Barbadians pay their tuition fees at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Minister of Education Ronald Jones said that contrary to what the Opposition Barbados Labour Party was asserting, the Freundel Stuart administration had followed through and provided promised bursaries to those who had found it difficult to pay.

“Since 2014 when we took the decision to ask students to make a contribution of 20 per cent to their tuition, the cost of their education, the Ministry of Education, along with the Ministry of Finance, in responding to some challenges which were present amongst some students, put in place some support structures in the form of bursaries and scholarships, etcetera,” he said Tuesday night during his contribution to the Appropriation Bill 2016 debate in the House of Assembly.

“In the first year, over 600 students benefited from that exercise to the tune of nearly $3 million as voted in this House of Assembly. In fact, some students who were part-time at the time were able in early September to receive a second tranche of that payment.

“Currently, with the $2.5 million we have allocated so far for the first semester, 321 students benefited from that exercise, and for the second semester, there will be nearly 400-plus students who have been benefiting and will continue to benefit from that exercise.”

The Christ Church East Central MP added that “within a matter of three weeks, you will have the [information] going out to cover all first-year students coming into the University of the West Indies, and based on the needs, that $2.5 million will also go [to] cover between 600  to 800 students”. (SC)