Ambassador of Taiwan to SVG Excellency Baushuan Ger Remarks At Presentation Ceremony of the Taiwan Scholarship-the Back to School Bursary Program.
It is a great pleasure for my colleagues and me once again to be here with you today at the Presentation Ceremony of the Taiwan Scholarship-the Back to School Bursary Program.
First of all, I would like to also extend my sincere congratulations to the recipients of this year– the recipients that are selected from 38 schools in Kingstown area or nearby.
I would also like to thank our colleagues in the Ministry of Education for not only organizing this ceremony today and those after but also working with schools to solicit qualified candidates for the Scholarship.
Taiwan Scholarship was launched in 1998 to assist the financially dis-privileged students in this country with their education. Since then, the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) contributed every year US$100,000 （EC$268,820） to hundreds of students from primary, secondary and tertiary schools.
From 1998 to 2016, a total of 1.9 million USD, that is around 5.1 million ECD was allocated to sponsor this Programme and thousands of students have benefited from it.
This year my government has decided to double the funding from 100,000 USD to 200,000 USD. In this way, we may provide help for more students and their families. The number of the recipients this year, as I understand, will be 793. The number last year was 416.
After this ceremony today, my Embassy will also visit Georgetown, Barrouallie, SVGCC, Bequia, and Marriaqua to meet with other recipients and their families. I want to thank the Ministry of Education again for making those arrangements possible.
The Republic of China (Taiwan) and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines established diplomatic relations in 1981. Since then we have launched and implemented many cooperation projects in different areas. However, as both Taiwan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines recognize that education will not only change the lives of many individuals but the future of a country, our two governments have worked together to put more and more resources over the years in the field of education.
As I said, we launched this Back to School Bursary program in 1998.
In 2004, we started to provide two other scholarships, namely MOFA Scholarship and TaiwanICDF Scholarship, to encourage students from this country to pursue college or graduate degrees in Taiwan. 143 Vincentian students have so far benefitted under these two scholarships.
On top of these two scholarships, we created a postgraduate medicine program in 2012 to train medical doctors for our diplomatic allies in I-Sou University School of Medicine for International Students. This year the first batch of Vincentians, Dr Raphique Pope and Dr Andre Williams, have graduated from this program and returned to serve in the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.
Since 2002, Taiwan has been a sponsor of the YES programme. Every year, 2.8 million EC Dollars is earmarked to assist about 500 young people to work in the public or private sectors under this programme.
This year, an extra 1.34 million EC Dollars will be put into the fund to enroll 167 more young people in the 2017-2018 SET and YES programmes.
In Taiwan, we like to say “ It takes ten years to grow a tree but one hundred years to nurture people.” It says how important education is. That is the very reason we have created or sponsored a wide range of programmes to assist the young talents- leaders of tomorrow. We do hope that all the recipients will make the best use of the money and study hard.
Once again, students and parents, I want to say congratulations and wish every student of this country a very bright future. Thank you!