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Tabaquite MP and shadow education minister Anita Haynes.

MP for Tabaquite Anita Haynes has extended congratulations to all CAPE 2021 scholarship recipients. She stated that the student’s achievements is a a testament to the consistent hard work and dedication they’ve applied to their academic career thus far. However, Ms Haynes also stated that “This is a bittersweet celebration, even as we celebrate the achievement of these students there are hundreds more who were not awarded scholarships because of the Ministry of Education’s decision to shift the goal posts and restrict the number of scholarships awarded.”

The following is a press release from MP Haynes:

The Member of Parliament for Tabaquite, Ms. Anita Haynes, extends heartfelt congratulations to all CAPE 2021 scholarship recipients. In a message to students Haynes said, “Congratulations on your momentous achievement. This is a testament to the consistent hard work and dedication you’ve applied to your academic career thus far. You took on the many multifaceted challenges of sitting an exam during a pandemic and emerged victorious. This marks the first of many more successes to come your way and I wish you good fortune in all your future endeavours.”

MP Haynes also recognised the invaluable contributions of parents and teachers, “I also acknowledge and celebrate the role of the scholars’ support systems. Over the past two years we’ve seen parents and teachers really coming together and strengthening the villages that support our children. Their success is also a reflection of your care and investment.”

Additionally, Ms. Haynes remarked on the roll-backs to the National Scholarship Programme that have resulted in many high-performing students not having success at the scholarship level, “This is a bittersweet celebration, even as we celebrate the achievement of these students there are hundreds more who were not awarded scholarships because of the Ministry of Education’s decision to shift the goal posts and restrict the number of scholarships awarded.”

Noting that the decrease to 100 scholarships is a significant decline compared to years prior, Ms. Haynes reiterated her concerns around the increasing inequitable access to education, “I can tell you from personal experience the ways in which a scholarship opportunity can change the trajectory of a person’s life and the lives of their family.

I empathise with the many students who feel as though their chance to “make it” is gone and I encourage them to stay the course, seek out and seize all other opportunities available.” “This government’s approach to education, and this also pertains to technical and vocational education, directly reflects a lack of investment in our human capital.” Haynes said. “I am calling on the Ministry of Education to frontally address the reports regarding GATE access lest we lose out on more bright minds because of financial inability. Do not allow tertiary education to slip back into the realm of privilege and elitism.”