Come this Monday the nation’s students at all levels would be returning to school and that has always been a moment of great excitement for all concerned because there is going to be a change somehow.
Some are going out to school for the first time; some are going to primary school for the first time; some to secondary schools and some to tertiary schools for the first time. Of course many are going to new classes in the same school, so that too is newness and generates great excitement.
Within the last month or so several students have been receiving scholarships from various corporate citizens. Some of the more prominent Companies included LIME, National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Sir Royston Hopkin and the Grenada Union of Teachers Cooperative Credit Union. Through their sponsorship, over one thousand students have been assisted over the years at an overall cost of close to $4M. There was similar assistance given to needy students from other firms such as businesses and Companies which give to the children of their employees. Grenadians in the Diaspora are not lacking in generosity either. Some generous donors include the Grenada Improvement Group (GIG) based in Washington and the Carriacou/Petite Martinique group based in New York; there are others.
Some of these donors boast of beneficiaries who have been to Universities, become professionals and are holding lucrative jobs locally and abroad. All these do a nation proud and, as the Minister of Education said at one of these ceremonies, this is great assistance to the Government because they cannot possibly handle all. They have, however, provided some great relief which helps to ease the financial strain on parents. Monies have been allocated for TAMCC students in the outer parishes to help with transportation, and uniforms are provided for over three thousand primary and secondary school students.
All that notwithstanding, there are still a very large number of needy students who are wishing for some kind of sponsorship, and there are equally a great number of individuals, groups and organizations which can help, and which are probably eager to help but might be ignorant of appropriate and relevant contacts. Some tertiary institutions in Grenada have often publicly expressed need for assistance to their students; some secondary schools have often made appeals for assistance also, and it is amazing when considering the simple and varied area of needs. At the scholarship award ceremonies, ordinary forms of assistance like transportation, school fees, uniforms, meals and basic stationery are what is most needed.
Despite all the positive aspects, there is also the dull aspect. Nature has it ordained that, with every positive action there is an opposite and equal reaction. Consequently, with all the generous and charitable individuals, groups and organizations, there are also those who are selfish, uncharitable, and turn their backs on needy situations. Many of these people prefer to sit on their few extra dollars, or probably even their huge sums with tight fingers and hard hearts. When considering the ordinary forms of needs, maybe some hearts would be softened and some fingers would be slackened and charity would prevail. Ironically, there are instances where some of the needy are relatives of those who have the few dollars to spare.
With the great anxiety of the reopening of school, now is the best time to say hats off to the many charitable and generous sponsorship nationwide. Now is also the best time to appeal to the hard-hearted to be at least generous if not charitable. For those who might be wondering where to deliver – well that is easy; just contact the principals of the secondary schools and tertiary institutions and they would be willing to accept your kindness. Here’s wishing all students a successful school term and year. Ending with a quote from the Feature Address by Ms. Malynda Ramsey at the LIME scholarship awards ceremony: “Take control of your education, be responsible, make maximum opportunity of every free time given”.