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Senator Samantha Marshall, a government member, expressed her concern regarding the current structure of the scholarship programs.
She emphasized the need to prioritize areas critical for national development and suggested that a more targeted approach to scholarships could help address the current deficiency in various sectors across the country.
Senator Marshall’s criticism highlights the importance of re-evaluating the existingscholarship programmes to ensure they align with the country’s development goals.
It’s noteworthy that this suggestion came from a government member, rather than the opposition.
This underscores the significance of a collaborative approach to address the country’s challenges and move towards sustainable development.
She said Prime Minister Gaston Browne gives away millions of dollars in scholarships annually but it is time to get Cabinet members to identify critical areas.
“Stop giving people scholarships where they cannot return and make no meaningful development. Give them scholarships in engineering, and quantity surveying, because we are always building and maintaining roads,” she said
Marshall said scholarships should also be focused on wide sector areas of tourism, knowing that climate change is a major issue
“Let us look at the critical areas in every ministry. We need more doctors who specialize in psychology and psychiatry; we need more counsellors, those engaged in youth development. Let us give those as key scholarships so that can come back and help build this nation,” she said
Marshall observed what she said was a wasteful practice that involved placing square pegs in round holes.
She firmly stated that her leadership would not tolerate this unacceptable practice.
“We cannot continue like this. It doesn’t make sense you go away to study business and then you return and want a job in the Ministry of Social Transformation. I want people involved in youth development, planners, people who can do data statistics, IT people…that’s who I want,” she said