Help students become better

With another school year coming to an end and an endless array of scholarship ads in our newspapers, I think this is an opportune time for a letter such as mine.

Let me say that I am appalled, no … disturbed, no … disappointed … yes, that’s about right … not only in the Cayman Islands Development Bank, but in our Cayman government on the whole.

As a working student who has a dream of pursuing a degree overseas, I hit a major roadblock in the past few months.

Let me say upfront the reason for this letter is not for publicity, and I am not in search of a handout. I would simply like to make others, especially young pro-education Caymanians, aware of how hard it can be to move forward in this society.

Due to Hurricane Ivan and like many others on this little island, we lost a lot. I am not able to afford the endeavour of studying abroad on my own.

I met CIDB and they informed that the university to which I had applied — and I might add, been accepted — was not ‘competitive’ enough for them to assist me financially.

What constitutes a competitive university anyway? On what does government base this rating? The university in question is not Harvard, but it is a bona fide, accredited tertiary education institution.

I could understand if I were going to study iceberg structures in Alaska, which is irrelevant to Cayman … but I am studying information systems management and human resources management, both of which are of use to this country in many fields.

I personally think it is unfair that government puts a restriction on mid-competitive universities.

High-competitive universities, such as the aforementioned Harvard or Yale, even the University of Miami and the University of South Florida are extremely expensive. For the typical young working and studying Caymanian, this is a distant dream, not an easily achieved goal.

Now, because I am unable to gain financial assistance through government (CIDB), I will have to take my chances of getting a student loan through one of our banks.

I would just like to implore those in government, more directly the Ministry of Education, to reassess their basis on what makes a university competitive, and give other Caymanians who are trying to better themselves a chance to be … MORE.

Give them a chance to be more prepared for a career, more open-minded from their overseas exposure, more appreciative of what their home country can offer them and more advanced to move our little island into the 22nd century,

Tarifa I. Eden