124 students approved for Government scholarships

PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs says some 34 students will be travelling to The Netherlands on Sunday, July 31, to further their studies. The Ministry of Education received 182 requests for study financing this year, of which 124 were granted, 51 were denied and seven are pending.

Sixty per cent of the cases have been handled by the appeals committee to date. Jacobs is awaiting the committee’s advice for final decision-making. She said the most popular areas of study are nursing, psychology, law (HBO-Recht and international and European) medicine, business administration/accounting, finance and education at University of St. Martin (USM). Some 20 students will be continuing their education at USM she said.

The most disturbing trends that have been noted are the increasing number of PSVE students applying for study financing with General Education Development (GED) diplomas. Even minors, who fall under compulsory education, are obtaining GED diplomas at 16 years of age.

“While the Ministry supports students seeking higher education, a considerable drop in the academic performance of our students has been noted, with several unable to maintain the required 2.50 GPA {grade point average – Ed.].

“I appeal to the students to keep up their GPA, because this would mean that instead of completing your studies the grant would be a loan to you, meaning you have to pay back while you haven’t completed your education,” Jacobs said.

Students of HAVO or CXC schools from the island usually perform extremely well academically, for example, in the US. Most of the GED grads are being placed in developmental or pre-college classes as they are failing the placement test.

The 34 students leaving for Holland on Sunday will be accompanied by the two guidance counsellors. On arrival in the Netherlands they will be welcomed by Minister Plenipotentiary Henrietta Doran-York and will have lunch at Steigenberger Hotel, after which they will depart to their respective study cities. The orientation week of activities will be closed off with a workshop at the St. Maarten House in The Hague on August 5.

Ten students will be travelling to Tallahassee on August 7. The St. Maarten Student Association in Tallahassee and the LINKS foundation will welcome and assist the students on arrival. Four students will be travelling to Curaçao and Aruba on August 5. The rest of the students who will be studying in the region will be departing on different dates.

Source: Daily Herald
124 students approved for Government scholarships