Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 12, 2016 (SKNIS):  The twelve (12) recipients of the 2016 Republic of China (Taiwan) scholarships were duly recognized by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, as he wished them well and God’s blessings at a recent ceremony held at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI).

Eight recipients, namely Kemarri Armstrong; Virecia Williams; Chantel Pemberton; Erika Fraites; Kenrick Pollock; Jamalje Muzine; Adonique Stapleton; and Devaughn Amory were awarded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) scholarships. Shevanee Nisbett; Rhondel Philip; Dhaima Golding; and Hadassah Willett were awarded the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) scholarships.

“It pleases me to see that at least 12 of our students are about to make a journey afar in the quest for a quality education and I want to thank them for their daring, their courage and their own self-inspiration that would take them from so far west to so far the east in Taiwan,” said Prime Minister Harris. “I believe that you have embarked upon this journey, committed to do something better for yourself, something better for your family, and perhaps most importantly something better for your country. And so, as you are about to leave, you leave with all the best wishes of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

Dr. Harris encouraged the scholarship recipients to take the Mandarin Chinese language seriously as it will benefit them greatly in the future.

“When you would have completed your education you leave Taiwan not just versed in ICT, not just versed in biology or medicine or any other area in which you are pursuing, but you are versed with an additional marketable skill, a gift of being multi or at least bilingual,” said Dr. Harris. “You must recall that the most populous country in the world is China and there are multiple opportunities now available to those who speak Mandarin. You automatically become part and parcel of the world of over 1 billion persons speaking that particular language and to which there is a strong affinity.”

His Excellency George Gow Wei Chiou, Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to St. Kitts and Nevis, extended congratulations to the recipients and said that education plays a vital role in the development of any nation.

“Human resources play a vital role for a country to achieve sustainable development,” said the Ambassador. “Education is a crucial mechanism for exploiting human resources. Cooperating with our international allies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) from the Republic of China (Taiwan) offer scholarships to the talented students from our allied countries. Through these scholarship programmes we would like to provide assistance to our allies developing their own human resources.”

The MOFA recipients are expected to spend one year studying Mandarin Chinese before venturing into their field of study, while ICDF recipients will go right into their studies. The students are expected to depart the Federation later this month and early September.