Hinterland Scholarship Programme
By Shemuel Fanfair
On a night that offered poetry, dance, song and reflections, 85 students and two technical scholars who were beneficiaries of the Hinterland Scholarship Programme were honoured for their performance at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) in 2015.
Successful students were issued certificates in a graduation exercise at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Wednesday evening.
In this year’s annual report, social worker Rosamund Daly noted that in the 2014-2015 period under review, 74 students were awarded places at secondary schools while 28 technical students were given scholarships to attended tertiary learning institutions. Daly observed that there was a two per cent decline in results when compared to the previous year.
“Our CSEC results from  saw a slight decrease from 90 per cent to 88 per cent,” she noted. Outstanding CSEC performers were St Ignatius resident Jonathon Jacobus who attended Queen’s College, Santa Rosa Secondary student Alesia Harris and Carrissa Kissoon of Mabaruma who attended the Bishops’ High School. Paula Gomes was identified as the best graduating Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) student with passes in 5 subjects.
In his remarks, Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock praised the students for their successes and urged them to strive harder as they continue to play their role in nation-building. He also noted the importance of preserving one’s heritage.
“Your destiny is in your hands; never forget who you are and where you came from. Know and value your identity [and] resist the lure of abandoning your heritage,” the Minister urged the hinterland students.
Allicock further noted that the younger generation would be the ones to grasp the opportunities that the country has to offer, especially with the recent oil discovery.
Fifteen students were awarded for consistent academic performances, while six students were awarded for consistent participation.
The Hinterland Scholarship Programme, which was previously known as the Amerindian Scholarship Programme, was first introduced in 1962, some 54 years ago. The first six students were placed at secondary schools in the capital city based on the results of the Common Entrance Examination, which was placed by the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA). School placement is determined by student performances in Grades Two and Four (a small percentage) and the NGSA.
The programme caters to students at the secondary and tertiary levels allowing opportunities for a sound secondary and technical education. The awardees are housed in dormitories, and given a monthly stipend and meals. The Scholarship Programme falls under the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry and the graduates hailed from Moruca, Mabaruma, Anna Regina, Aishalton, Lethem, Linden and Kwakwani in Regions One, Two, Six, Seven, Nine and Ten respectively.