ST LUCIA: ABANDONED? Ex-medical students petition gov’t

Twenty-two ex-medical students who were returned to Saint Lucia from Venezuela last year have launched a petition to rally the Government of Saint Lucia to grant them new scholarships to further their education.

Nine months ago, just two days before the General Elections, the 22 aspiring medical students were returned to Saint Lucia after it was discovered that the Venezuelan institution they were attending was not listed in the World Directory of Medical School. The degree that they would have received was not recognised by the World Health Organisation, according to the students.

In addition, the students endured hardship due to the poor living conditions at the Venezuela institution.

“The absence of the institution’s listing in the Directory means that the school could not be accredited, meaning that graduates would not be able to use the degree outside of Venezuela – not even in Saint Lucia,” the students wrote on the petition website.

“Upon our return, both the former and current administrations pledged to intervene, and committed to reassigning all 22 of us to other, accredited medical courses of study. Unfortunately, as of yet the Government of Saint Lucia has not come through on their promise.

“We students have gone through numerous difficulties, but all 22 want to push forward so that we can help our families and the country, once in possession of our degrees. Help us get the Government to take action! It is scholarship season now, and we have waited much too long to be denied our chance at a university education for yet another year,” the students added.

The petition will be delivered to Government of St.Lucia and the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development. (St Lucia news online)

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