(PRESS RELEASE) – An ongoing initiative of the Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations to help create and promote lifelong learning opportunities for higher education for local school leavers has been deemed a huge success, with hundreds set to benefit as a result.
The #EducateSaintLucia initiative started off with a College and Career Readiness Symposium aimed at the youth, with the goal of preparing them for higher education, career development and advancement. To this end, the Government of Saint Lucia partnered with American College Testing Inc. (ACT) for a three to five-year framework that will offer over one thousand (1000) students the opportunity to sit the ACT examination, with the objective of acquiring satisfactory scores that could gain them admittance into various colleges in the USA.
The key objective of this programme is to extend scholarship opportunities to students, particularly those leaving secondary and tertiary institutions on the island. Several institutions in the USA have already been engaged, seeking their commitment to grant scholarships or partial scholarships to citizens of Saint Lucia, scoring high in the ACT examinations.
The Ministry has also planned a National Application Day for all students registered for the ACT exams in December, which will allow students to apply to universities and Colleges in the US. In addition, a #FirstGeneration initiative offers first generation university students of financially challenged families, a chance to gain full scholarships to pursue higher education abroad.
During the week of October 09 to 14, 2017 there were several activities held with Ms Erica Hepburn of the ACT, which included training of staff of the Division of Education who are involved in the various aspects of ACT. School principals, guidance counselors and prospective candidates were also briefed, on the proper implementation of the initiative. In addition, an intensive training session was held in the north and south of the island for prospective candidates and young persons who are out of school but interested in pursuing further education.
From October 20 to 24, 2017, four hundred and fifty (450) students from various secondary schools around the island sat the Pre-ACT exam. To date, three hundred and nine (309) students have registered for the ACT exams to be held on December 9th and 10th in Saint Lucia.