THREE Tobago students received scholarships on Wednesday courtesy the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship Programme.
The award ceremony was hosted by THA Chief Secretary in collaboration with the Chinese Ambassador Fan Qui at the Penthouse of the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex in Scarborough.
The recipients are Jenna Dick of Signal Hill Secondary, Keziah Cumberbatch of Roxborough Secondary and Jahlil Bayes of the Montgomery Government Primary.
In an interview with Newsday, Dick said she was shocked to be a recipient. "It would help me towards the buying of my books, and it would encourage me to do better in school,” she said.
Her father Keith Dick said he was proud.
“It is a good feeling to know that she was rewarded, especially knowing that she does a lot of hard work. Her mother and I are grateful for the school selecting her and we would continue to encourage her from here on forward to continue to do well towards becoming who she needs to be.”
The school’s principal, Xavier King, said Dick is a model student.
“She is an excellent student and this scholarship would allow her to get more things – whether she needs material, school supplies or even internet connectivity, anything to further her education. I really feel proud of her – very good student, very good deportment, intelligent and I know she would make very good use of the scholarship she has received.”
In his address to the students, the ambassador quoted TT's first Dr Eric Williams’ 1962 speech to schoolchildren, at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, about carrying the nation's future in their schoolbags.
“The hope of this nation lies on you. May this achievement encourage you to work even harder as we continue to support you. And I believe you would be the pillars of the nation through your future endeavours.”
Chief Secretary Farley Augustine described the programme as a starting scholarship.
“In this initiative, there is a commitment that once you students continue to excel, that the People’s Republic of China through its embassy will want to continue supporting you in your academic endeavours.”
Augustine said the world is extremely small, noting that while geographically it is large, with globalisation it is extremely small.
“You can get to almost anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds from your devices and education is one of those areas through which we can get even closer, through which we can train our people, through which share knowledge and share information.
"Grab all the knowledge and the information that you can get. Ensure that you make good of this opportunity.”
He told the students that this is not just a scholarship being awarded to them, but it is also Tobago saying to them that they have excelled, and they are deserving of this contribution towards their future endeavours. He said this part of their life is extremely critical to their life successes, adding that what they do at this stage would determine what they would become as adults, as well as the kinds of contributions they would be able to make to their island.
“So do well, continue to excel – spend sufficient time reading, spend sufficient time studying, pay attention to the work that is before you so the scheme of work that your teachers will provide for you. And also, see beyond Tobago for a bit. Tobago is the most beautiful place on the planet but see beyond Tobago for a bit.
"See that you have the entire world at your fingertips, see that you have an opportunity starting with this scholarship to go beyond the Tobago space. Who knows in the future you may desire to study beyond the Tobago space and here begins that opportunity for all of you.”