Twenty five students from all over the nation today walked away as happy recipients of the Belize Bank High School Scholarship. During a ceremony held at the Belize Chamber of Commerce building on Coney Drive this morning, Chairman of the Belize Bank Lindon Guisseppe explained that Belize Bank started venturing in helping with furthering the education of its staff members because they believed that the government alone cannot undertake this grand task. He explained how they decided to venture into awarding high school scholarships
LINDON GUISSEPPE, Chairman of the Belize Bank
“We started contemplating what legacy would this institution, Belize Bank, leave when we are long and gone. What will be the impact of the Belize Bank on the society of Belize? And as we discuss that issue and as we ponder these things, we felt that the greatest legacy that Belize Bank can leave for this country would be a legacy of education, access to primary, secondary and tertiary education. Against that background ladies and gentlemen a committee a committee including Ms. Michal, myself and a number of other staff members decided that we are going to expand the scholarship program which we initiated for staff to include the wider Belizean societies but particularly targeted at students entering the secondary school system. The twenty five scholarships being awarded this morning are not simply based on the student’s academic performance even though we definitely took academic performance into consideration when we were judging the process. In determine the qualification we also took into consideration the financial status of both the students and the parents. Why did we do this? Well the reason is quite simple ladies and gentlemen, too often children do not complete four years or five years or six years of schooling not because they are incompetent, not because they are unable, not because they are too bright but simply because they are unable to afford to. We felt that it’s a travesty of justice when bright young people who can in fact go on to greater things are denied education simply on the basis of unaffordability. Therefore, we felt simply using the criteria of academic qualification would have been an injustice. So we added another component of it where we consider the financial standings of the students and the parents.”
Students will have to maintain a 2.75 grade point average and a good discipline record in order to keep the scholarship which covers books, tuition and fees. Deputy Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports, Dr. Carol Babb, thanked the Belize Bank on behalf of her ministry and emphasized the importance of education
CAROL BABB, Deputy Chief Education Officer
“If you were to be given an iPod from the bank there is a possibility that before you reach downstairs it could fall and could be broken and cannot work. Education is a gift that no one can take away from you, it will never decay, it will never fall and get broken so take advantage of it.”
Selected Staff members from the Belize Bank will be assigned as a mentor to each of the students to help them in the road through their high school education. Certificates were presented by both Babb and Guisseppe and students also walked away with a school bags full of books this morning.
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