A cheque of over one million dollars has been officially delivered to the Dominica State College to cover students’ outstanding fees.
The cheque was hand delivered by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on Wednesday 6 June 2018 morning during a small ceremony at the college’s Stockfarm Campus.
“The government took a decision to write off and pay off the outstanding fees of everyone in the country who owes the college, irrespective of who the person is,” Mr Skerrit said.
Mr Skerrit, who is also the Minister for Finance, said he did not ask for the names of the students who are indebted to the college but rather how much they owed.
He indicated that following negotiations and reconciling of accounts with the assistance of the registrar’s office, the amount students owe the college as of 31 May 2018 has been determined.
“And we came up to one million, fifteen dollars and four cents,” Mr. Skerrit stated.
Mr Skerrit informed the handing over ceremony that the decision to pay the outstanding fees for all students is because of the high priority and value that his government has placed on education.
“We have always maintained that in order for us to build a prosperous country, we must have a skilled workforce,” he said.
“And it does not mean academic pursuits; it means a skill of any kind because we need all kinds of skills at the service of the country to build this country and to make this country a prosperous nation,” he added.
He noted that since its opening, the Dominica State College done “a fantastic job” in educating a wide cross section of the society.
“We have seen at the college where mothers sat right next to their daughters in the college, we have seen people who came into the hospital, as ward aids leave this college as nurses. And this is how you measure the impact of an institution on the life of a society,” he went on to state.
Mr. Skerrit said his only message to young people is that “we must not take these things for granted” because there are people residing in countries which are much richer than Dominica who are unable to attend school because they cannot afford to pay the tuition fees, or obtain contract a federal loan.
“Therefore they are sitting home because their parents cannot afford to send them to school. This is not the case in Dominica, a county where really there are, outside from human capital, no real resources,” Mr. Skerrit said.