President David Granger has presented Bursary Awards to more than 50 students on behalf of the Burnham Education Scholarship Trust (BEST), and has appealed for long-term relations between the awardees and the trust.The recipients have each received $50,000, along with books, pens, and presidential pins bearing the words “Every Child in School.”

In his address at this occasion, on Friday at the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) headquarters: Congress Place, at Sophia, Georgetown, President Granger charged the BEST Board to sustain a relationship with the awardees even unto the university level.

“It’s something that I haven’t discussed with the board as yet, but I would like to appeal that once somebody enters (the) BEST family, that person (should) remain with the BEST family throughout his or her life,” President Granger said. He added, “And just as when you come in after National Grade Six Examination, we want to see you all the way through secondary school. When you leave secondary school, if you get access to the University of Guyana (UG), we are going to pay your first year at the University.”news 20161016 1

The Head of State encouraged the students to take full advantage of the opportunity before them. “When you leave secondary school, don’t think of it as the end of your education. As long as you are a part of the BEST family, BEST will look after you. We are going to fulfill the promise that was made long ago by the then leader of the party to (give students) education from nursery to university,” he assured.

President Granger explained that BEST has been in operation for several years, and that the Trust was developed from an idea into an institution. “…they don’t get paid or receive any stipend, but they still put their all into it. Best is all about education,” he explained.

Stressing that education is the pathway and key to success, the President urged all students to remain in school. He cited statistics to highlight the number of school dropouts annually.

“We are proud of you (awardees). Many of the children in the hinterland regions could not pass mathematics. As a matter of fact, many of the children in Guyana did not pass mathematics in the NGSE…. In fact, some of them didn’t pass anything at all…it is very disturbing to me,” he lamented.

He said that without a good education, jobs cannot be secured. “Education is the key to employment,” President Granger declared, and noted that even if one is aiming to become self-employed, one must embrace education.

“We want more children to come on board…. BEST is about education, employment, equality. We would like to give each of you a laptop, but we cannot afford it this year; but I am very glad the board has been able to raise the bursary from $30,000 to $50,000,” he stated.