By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (August 2018) -A combined total of 13 nationals from the Federation-five from Nevis and eight from St.Kitts- are slated to depart the Federation later this month to pursue academic studies in Taiwan having been successfully selected as the 2018 recipients of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Taiwan Scholarship and the International Cooperative and Development Fund (ICDF) Scholarship.

A dinner awards ceremony, organised by the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Ministry of Education of Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, was held last night ( Wednesday) at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) located at Fortlands in Basseterre.

The nine MOFA (9) awardees are: Ke-Jaun Raheem De-Quan Browne Chaddessa Sensia Bernice Rodriques; Krislee Tyra Terese Dasent (Nevis); Kyric Shakim Phillip (Nevis); Jasmine Melicia Liburd; Garim Kawanzo Trevon Jones; Orecia Valencia Hutchinson; Kyree Kamoy Shaquille Martin and Daniella Sabrina Murraine (Nevis).

The five (5) ICDF awardees are: Karen Annetta Crawford; Pierre Bowrin as well as Meritzer Lovelle Lawrence and Chalieze Jamiella Browne both from Nevis.

Notably, for the MOFA programme, students are expected to undergo a one-year study of Mandarin language before pursuing their schedule of courses.

As understood, under both programs that will see students pursuing full-time studies at graduate and undergraduate levels, their airfare, housing, tuition and credit fees, textbook costs and monthly allowance will be covered.

Newly-appointed resident Taiwanese Ambassador to St. Kitts-Nevis Tom Lee made an observation from the presence of those in attendance, including distinguished guests, saying “I can tell that education is also strongly emphasised here in St.Kitts and Nevis.”

“Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1983, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis have enjoyed a bond and solid friendship relations.

He shared that Taiwan and St.Kitts-Nevis are “very similar” as he cited natural resources and relying upon human resource.

Ambassador Lee went on to say: “In my opinion, education is the key to our success and also as a foundation for the national development. As a strong ally of the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis, Taiwan, we are very willing to share our experience in education and our office will continue to work hard and send more students from St.Kitts and Nevis to Taiwan for study.”

The resident Taiwanese official urged the scholarship recipients to focus on their studies in their interest of their homeland.

“Taiwan is known for our hospitality and also generosity. You can be rest assured our people will treat you like our own and pretty soon you will feel that Taiwan will be your home away from home., and I also want to encourage them to make most of their stay in Taiwan and study as hard as they can so when you come back to St.Kitts and Nevis, you can immediately make a contribution to your countries economy.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Shawn Richards informed that the 2018 awardees have been chosen from a field of thirty-two (32) applicants.

He then congratulated them “for the perseverance and commitment exhibited in completing the application process well in advance of the deadline and also meeting the necessary requirements as were outlined in application process.”

Richards expressed that the government and people of the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis continue to enjoy, acknowledged and appreciate the generosity of the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

“The sincere appreciation of such generosity is well noted within the Ministry of Education.  The federal Ministry of Education owes a tremendous depth of gratitude to the government and people of Republic of China (Taiwan) for its unwavering support to the educational advancement of our people in general and the youth of our Federation in particular,” he added.

Richards continued: “As we approach the 35th anniversary of our proud nation, we are reminded of the birth of our relationship with this great nation as The Republic of China (Taiwan) was the first to establish diplomatic ties with an independent St. Christopher and Nevis. This is in fact is a significant time in the relationship between our two countries. Our young people at all levels of the education system are the beneficiaries of the financial and human resourcing of our Taiwanese friends.”

Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris encouraged the awardees to return home and contribute to nation building.

“I want you to come back to us better prepared than you were when you left, better prepared to make a contribution to nation building because we this year are celebrating our 35th anniversary our Independence building upon the shoulder and platform laid of our fore parents,” he remarked.