84 F Clouds
Tuesday, Oct 04 2022, 04:10 PM
Close Ad
Back To Listing

Statement on Scholarship Requirements

Local News 28 May, 2020 Follow News

Statement on Scholarship Requirements

Statement on the Temporary Relaxation of Scholarship Requirements by the  Ministry of Education as a result of the COVID 19 Coronavirus Pandemic

 

It goes without saying that the Cayman Islands along with the rest of world, is currently experiencing the devastating effects of the COVID 19 Coronavirus pandemic. Our citizens are grappling with having to adapt to drastic life changes that have arisen as a result of this global disaster. Each day we discover new unprecedented challenges. Foremost in our minds has been survival and our Government’s priority has been and continues to be, the health and safety of all our residents. Acknowledging the outstanding work of our Government and cooperation of our citizens to control and suppress widespread transmission of the virus, we embark upon the next stages in our journey to restore all sectors of society. This includes efforts to address the residual effects experienced in all other areas of society.

Amongst these residual effects are challenges faced by some of our nation’s youngest and brightest minds.  More specifically, the current cohort of scholarship recipients who are pursuing their academic studies made possible by the Cayman Islands Government through the Scholarship Secretariat.

On Friday, May 15, 2020, the Cabinet approved a temporary relaxation of scholarship requirements to allow scholarship recipients whose studies may have been affected by the COVID 19 virus and suspended from scholarship funding to continue to receive funding under Government’s scholarship program in line with the recommendations of the Education Council.

The Cayman Islands Government through the Scholarship Secretariat administers scholarships in a variety of categories to students deemed qualified by the Education Council. The two broad categories are Local and Overseas Scholarships; Overseas scholarships primarily for the pursuit of tertiary studies and local scholarships for the pursuit of post-secondary and tertiary studies at local institutions.

 

These various categories of scholarships carry with them certain minimum criteria to enable the initial award by Education Council and for the continued receipt of funding from the Scholarship Secretariat throughout the course of study. These criteria include, among other things, the achievement of minimum grade point averages and the undertaking of a minimum number of credits. Proof of achievement must be submitted to the Scholarship Secretariat prior to the disbursal of funds.

 

The COVID 19 Coronavirus global pandemic resulted in all students being affected in a number of ways.

    1. Many countries closed their borders in and around March 2020 and most overseas universities closed their doors physically and moved to an online teaching platform. A lot of these universities were not properly geared up to move all of the necessary courses to an online platform which presented challenges for students.
    2. A significant number of Caymanian students were consequently hurriedly transported home from their varying universities across the globe. They were placed in quarantine for a minimum 14 days to suppress the spread of the COVID 19 virus. This was a high-stress environment that was less than ideal for studying and many struggled with the high levels of physical, psychological and emotional stress.
    3. Certain programs of study require the completion of practicums which could not be properly delivered on an online platform.
    4. Some universities are still struggling with an adequate system for grading students for the courses they took in the spring semester. Some still intend to have examinations, some are using limited course work completed to date to award a grade, and others are not awarding a grade at all but rather are simply awarding a pass or fail for a course.
    5. Locally, the University College of the Cayman Islands also moved to an online platform but this had its challenges and students faced many struggles at home with lack of internet access and a less than ideal studying environment.

 

The academic progress of many students would have been negatively affected during the Spring term, that is January to May 2020. These negative effects subsequently affected the students’ ability to meet the requirements to receive funding as per their scholarship agreement.  Acknowledging and accepting these challenging issues I asked the Education Council to review the situation. The Education Council held an emergency meeting on May 8th,  2020 to consider the situation and made a number of recommendations which I supported and took to Cabinet for approval.

It was agreed that scholarship requirements will be temporarily relaxed for one semester for all scholars (both local and overseas);

  • Spring 2020 Semester grades achieved by scholars, will not determine continuance of scholarship funding;
  • Scholars will therefore be able to continue on scholarship and receive funding for their next semester taken, whether Summer 2020 or Fall 2020; 
  • However, for that next subsequent semester taken, the normal scholarship policies will stand and scholars will need to meet the normal academic requirements to continue to receive scholarship funding past that semester;
  • Further, the relaxation also applies to those scholars who would have had their scholarship suspended for the Spring semester or term as a result of not meeting the academic requirements in Fall 2019. This is because of the undermining impact of Covid-19 on their ability to improve their academic standing during the Spring 2020 semester.  These scholars will have their funding reinstated under these same requirements.

 

As it pertains specifically to other discussions related to scholarship recipients;

 

  • UCCI is to develop and fund separately, a programme to support those students who wish to pursue TVET Courses. 

The Ministry of Education believes that we have a responsibility to ensure that no student in the Cayman Islands is left behind. Moreover, it is incumbent on us to ensure that our scholars are not denied an equal opportunity to achieve academic excellence due to circumstances beyond their control. As a Government we must demonstrate that we recognize and provide solutions to these issues swiftly, assiduously and effectively as we continue in our efforts to make the lives of those we serve better. 

The Ministry of Education and its agencies will continue to monitor, and address issues as they arise to support the needs of all our students.

 

 

 


Comments (0)

We appreciate your feedback. You can comment here with your pseudonym or real name. You can leave a comment with or without entering an email address. All comments will be reviewed before they are published.

* Denotes Required Inputs