Sep 28, 2019 News
Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Jordan, has endorsed a move by the National Industrial and Commercial and Investments Limited (NICIL/Special Project Unit (NICIL/SPU) to fund the schooling expenses of three students who were recently recognised for their outstanding performances at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).
The students, Pawan Ketwaro, Chitra Ramdeen and Marissa Siriram, are each eligible for a monthly financial grant of $50,000. They recently received a disbursement of the monthly support.
Acting NICIL/SPU CEO, Colvin Heath-London, was able to gain the full support of the NICIL/SPU’s Board to make the initiative a reality. The support will be sustained for the students once some conditions are met. This will include each child registering at least 90 percent attendance rate and maintaining acceptable grades.
NICIL Human Resources Manager, Shevone Wilson, said that while the company is extremely excited over the students’ performance it is important for both parents and students to note that the support has been forthcoming because of the importance of education.
“As I stand here today representing our acting CEO, I am elated because he is a man who is passionate about education and youth development and as I look at the three students I remain confident like him that our future remains bright.
“I would like to reiterate the commitment that Mr Heath-London had made in firmly supporting educational growth and development and this commitment was also echoed by the honourable Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, who has endorsed the initiative of NICIL/SPU,” Wilson said.
She stressed that while the financial grant comes with certain conditions, she firmly believes that they are reachable. She urged the students to continue excelling academically.
The students all expressed gratitude and thanks with Siriram being especially emotional.
“My mother cleans fish to send me to school so that I can get a sound education and I am very excited and thankful for this, as now she will get the kind of assistance that she needs to continue taking care of me and my siblings,” she said.
The student disclosed that because life has been difficult for her family Food for the Poor had assisted with building a house for them.
“I am glad that I did well but I am very excited that through me doing well it has resulted in my mother and family being able to receive assistance so that she can comfortably take care of us,” the emotional Siriram said.
Ketwaro revealed that despite his father losing his job after working a number of years at the Guyana Sugar Corporation estate, the consideration of the acting NICIL CEO saw him being rehired as a security guard.
He said that he was very worried about his father’s emotional state, noting that his father had become depressed after he was unable to find work for several months.
“These people (NICIL/SPU) have not only assisted me and my family financially but they have ensured that my father has a consistent job and for that I am more than happy. Seeing my parents happy is such a great joy as it bothers me when he was unemployed as things was very, very hard at home,” he said.
The students have all promised to maintain good grades and committed to being sterling examples to other students who may aspire to be similarly rewarded.
The students will all be attending the Berbice High School.
Present at the recent disbursement ceremony was their head teacher, Coleen Liddel. Liddel, who spoke glowingly of the initiative, said “As a single parent mother myself and an educator, I recalled when things were very difficult and money was very hard to come by so I know how these parents are feeling that they are receiving this significant grant at this very challenging times. I trust that both the students and parents recognise that it’s a golden opportunity that should be treated that way.”
The students were also given other support including bags, school materials and a weekend outing.
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