Some of the persons in attendance at the official launch of the Barbados-China Returning Scholars’ Association recently at the Chinese Embassy.

Call for more applicants

There is a call being made for more Barbadians to take advantage of the full ride scholarships being offered by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

It is coming from the Deputy Chief Education Officer, with responsibility for Schools at the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Joy Adamson who spoke with The Barbados Advocate after the official launch of the Barbados-China Returning Scholars’ Association recently at the Chinese Embassy.

She said that she could give an exact figure as to how many persons apply because it varies for year to year, but expanding on a point made earlier in the evening, she stated that they would like to see more applications come in to the Ministry.

“The People’s Republic of China, they are willing to offer at least ten scholarships, but we are not seeing a lot of people applying for the scholarships, I don’t know, they are probably thinking that China is too far and talking about the language barrier. But this is an opportunity. We have 80 scholars now who have graduated from the universities and these scholars have come back to Barbados now with the knowledge of the Mandarin language and having had the experience in China, because normally what they do is that they have one year actually leaning Mandarin and then the other year going into the university.”

She said that from the Ministry’s end, they would be doing their best to promote the scholarships.

“So it is an experience that anybody should capitalise on and it is a fully paid scholarship. So they would assist you with the choices of the university and they would assist you when you actually get there. So I think that it is something that Barbadians need to capitalise on and when they see that advert for the Chinese scholarships, do apply. What we can do is that from activities like this, we can promote the scholarships for every opportunity that we get,” she stated.

The initial decision as to which students will be awarded the scholarships are made by the Ministry of Education and then these persons are invited for an interview, whereupon, their names are passed onto the PRC.

Some of the criteria that they look for are grades, if you have the character to make a good ambassador for this island when you go there and while there is no limitations on the area of study, they would look favourably on those persons who chose to study in an area that would make a significant contribution to the development of Barbados.

Other ongoing partnerships include encouraging more Barbadians to learn and then to go out and teach Mandarin to their fellow Barbadians and other persons and this partnership is in conjunction with the Confucius Institute, at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus.

“Yes, that is something that is ongoing and that is why we had that study tour where we incorporated the BCC and we incorporated the CXC. I am aware now that CXC is actually looking into having Mandarin as one of the subjects that they will be introducing at the CCSLC level, and obviously they will be working, maybe sometime in the future to actually put it at the CSEC level as well, and it is throughout the Caribbean. So that is something that we are working on with the Confucius Institute currently,” she said.

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