Thirty persons employed at various levels and industries across the Public Sector have been awarded Marcus Garvey Public Sector Scholarships. Fittingly, the presentation was made at King’s House on Tuesday, August 17 which was the 134th anniversary of the birth of Jamaica’s first National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
The Scholarships will provide world-class educational opportunities for Public Sector employees as part of a human capital development effort. The initiative was first announced during the 2020/2021 Budget, and became a reality for the individuals who will pursue graduate studies at universities locally and overseas.
Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen, who chaired the Selection Committee said he was honoured to serve and he was pleased with the quality of the candidates, “We were very impressed with the calibre of candidates: their educational achievement, passion for work in their respective fields, and vision of how this training will contribute to national development.”
“Several of the Scholarship recipients are educators who will be instrumental in determining public policy on education and we expect to see the impact on the nation when they return to the workplace,” Sir Patrick said.
The Governor-General observed that it is not by accident but a fortuitous happenstance, that the Awards are being presented on the birthday anniversary of the National Hero after whom the Scholarship is named.
Sir Patrick Allen said Marcus Garvey was a strident proponent of education and quoted Garvey who said, “It is by education that we become prepared for our duties and responsibilities in life…If one is badly educated, he must naturally fail in the proper assumption and practice of his duties and responsibilities.”
The Scholarships will cover the full tuition. Twenty-seven recipients will pursue studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona and the University of Technology while three individuals will pursue studies overseas. Their air travel costs will also be covered.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Ambassador Sheila Sealy Monteith, who gave the address, said that public servants can lead from any level and that the recipient should aim to learn something new from the opportunities which present themselves daily.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, who conceptualized the Scholarship Programme, urged the recipients to, “be intentional and recognize upfront that this is the Government throwing the taxpayers’ money in investing in you.”
There were over two hundred applications for studies spanning areas of the Public Sector to include Economic Development, Border Control, Solid Waste Management and Procurement.
The Scholarship Selection Committee comprised Ambassador the Honourable Douglas Saunders – Cabinet Secretary, Miss Darlene Morrison-Financial Secretary, Mrs. Jacqueline Mendez-Chief Personnel Officer, Office of the Services Commission, Professor Stephen Vascianne – Professor of International Law, University of the West Indies, Mona, Dr. Diana Thorburn -Director of Research, The Caribbean Policy Research Institute and Dr. Wayne Henry – Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica.