Prime Minister Andrew Holness pledges $750,000 to support NCU students affected by COVID-19 through his Positive Jamaica Foundation| Jamaica Gleaner.
Prime Minister Andrew has pledged three quarters of $1 million from his Positive Jamaica Foundation to the Northern Caribbean University’s Alumni to fund scholarships and grants for NCU students affected by COVID-19.
In a message endorsing the university’s media-thon on his Twitter page, Holness said the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected students financing their tertiary education.
“This administration supports any initiative to fund the establishment of scholarships and grants to assist needy students to fulfill their goals achieving higher education,” he continued.
The media-thon will be streamed live via the university’s social media platforms and its radio and television station.
Related Story with NCU students and of the Positive Jamaica Foundation
‘No Strings Attached’ – Holness Calls For JLP Positive Jamaica Foundation Scholarship Beneficiaries To Pay Forward Gratitude To Future Students
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader Andrew Holness described the recent (November 23, 2019) donation of J$2.5 million to the University of Technology Jamaica’s (UTech) scholarship fund as a “no-strings-attached” grant geared towards alleviating the financing challenges of needy students, especially those at risk of deregistration and disbarment from examinations through his Positive Jamaica Foundation.
The party’s education fund contributed $1.5 million, with $1 million coming from the Holness’ Positive Jamaica Foundation. A similar contribution was made to The University of the West Indies, Mona, yesterday.
But Holness, who is also Jamaica’s prime minister, pledged that neither the JLP nor the foundation would have a hand in the selection of beneficiaries. He, however, laid down some selection guidelines, insisting that students be made to understand that they needed to give back.
Paying Forward with Positive Jamaica Foundation
“They don’t have to express gratitude, but what we want them to do is to pay it forward. To either give service now or when they have [a] chance, when they have gotten employment, to contribute to their university,” he said during the handover at UTech’s boardroom.
The JLP Education Fund, which was launched in July, has granted five students full scholarships and six others partial scholarships. The fund has also issued 136 bursaries to workers or children or wards of workers of the party.
Among the stipulations governing the disbursements is that no beneficiary receive a grant exceeding J$150,000 and that students commit to a specific number of hours of voluntary service. Recipients are to be means-tested.
The prime minister also used the occasion to inform UTech president, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, that he had followed the progress of news of his pending departure, as well as other developments, but had opted not to intervene with the Positive Jamaica Foundation.
“I want to thank you for the service you have given to the university. I’ve seen somewhere, read somewhere, that you are moving on,” Holness told the educator.
“You have read correctly,” quipped Vasciannie, who will demit office at year end.
“The Government of Jamaica appreciates the service that you’ve given and we look forward to your continued service in other areas you choose to give service in.
Holness also pledged to implement reforms to tertiary education financing “in the next term”.
“Given the list of things that the Government has to do now, it’s not something that I could promise this term, but it is something that is urgent, and I know The University of the West Indies and UTech have both made proposals, suggestions about how it should be reformed, and it is something that Government will take up and we are committed to do that in the next term.
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