Some 525 students from the primary, secondary and tertiary level education institutions here received bursaries on December 4, under the Republic of China (Taiwan) Human Resource Development Programme.
The donations are said to total EC$320,000 and are expected to be put towards offsetting costs for the students.
“I am happy to see the smiles on the faces and to be able to provide assistance to the students,” H.E Calvin Ho, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) said at the handing over ceremony last Friday, at the SVG Community College.
“They are the future of the country so it is very meaningful what we are doing now,” Ambassador Ho said.
The program was launched in 1998 with the intention of assisting the financially disadvantaged students in the country.
According to H.E Ho, since then some US$2.54 million has been provided with over 10,000 students benefitting from the programme.
“That is almost one tenth of the population…they are able to attend school regularly, purchase school supplies, buy meals and afford transportation,” Ambassador Ho said.
The programme is seen as one of the more important areas of co-operation between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Taiwan, the Taiwanese Ambassador posited.
“I want to encourage the students to take advantage of the education advantages available to you and one day, you will be able to share your expertise to St Vincent and the Grenadines and the world,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Education Curtis King thanked the Government and People of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for their support to the Vincentian people.
He acknowledged that for close to four decades, both countries have collaborated in a number of areas, with Taiwan offering training opportunities for locals.
The country, he said, has made strides in the education sector, particularly with the assistance of allies such as Taiwan, who continue to play an important role in the education of the Vincentian people.
Minister King encouraged the recipients to not only use the funds wisely, but for them to make use of the opportunity afforded to them to access education.