JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has lauded the National Commercial Bank (NCB) Foundation for its role in assisting students to pursue higher education, through its scholarship programme.

 

“I am sure that since this project was started 14 years ago, the lives of thousands of young people have been changed for the better. Your intervention has opened windows of opportunities for many,” the Minister said.

 

He was speaking at the NCB CSEC Principles of Accounts (POA) and Principles of Business (POB) National Bursary Awards function, held on the grounds of the Ardenne High School in St. Andrew on February 1, where the bank electronically transferred $13 million in bursaries to schools.

 

Under its CSEC POA/POB National Bursary programme, the entity allows qualified secondary-level students to sit these two business subjects free of cost. This helps them to meet the minimum number of five subjects required for entry to a tertiary institution.

 

The bursary programme augments the Government’s subvention of four subjects – Mathematics, English, a Science subject and Information Technology. An additional subject is also offered to Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) students and wards of the State.

 

Mr. Reid said the Government is appreciative of this support from a corporate entity in ensuring that more students are afforded tertiary-level education, lamenting that only 15 per cent of the current workforce has attained tertiary-level qualification.

 

He noted that another 15 per cent of employees have some technical education, while 70 per cent have not achieved the minimum acceptable qualifications for entry into tertiary-level programmes.

 

“We can all appreciate the importance of scholarships in helping our students to meet their goals of furthering their training and education,” Mr. Reid said.

 

The Minister said the support is significant because NCB “is giving us that opportunity to make this bold aspiration (to get all youth to stay in school up to Grade 13, and achieving at least a degree by age 30) far more realistic.”

 

Since the scholarship programme’s inception in 2003, the NCB Foundation has paid out $141 million to more than 100,000 students.

 

To qualify for the bursary, each school must have a sit rate of 90 per cent in each business subject covered by the bursary over two years.

 

In addition, the qualifying schools can only submit the names of the students who have attained at least 70 per cent in the subject areas.

 

A total of 4,270 students from 116 schools islandwide are benefiting from the programme this academic year.

 

CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (centre), joins students in thanking the National Commercial Bank (NCB) Foundation for providing $13 million in bursaries under its scholarship programme this academic year. The Foundation electronically transferred the funds to several high schools across the island during its Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Principles of Accounts (POA) and Principles of Business (POB) National Bursary Awards function, held at Ardenne High School in St. Andrew on February 1.