Today’s Editorial Aug 31: Aid a plus for all students

Getting a higher education just got easier for Cayman’s youth.

And it doesn’t matter whether they attend government or private schools.

Government has announced that it will increase the amount of financial assistance for A-Level programmes from $2,500 per year to 80 per cent of the annual tuition.

That means students could receive as much as $5,742 in help money to offset the cost of A-Level programmes, which can cost anywhere from $6,500 to $7,178.

We don’t usually advocate fixing a problem by throwing money at it, but we heartily agree with Government on this issue.

It is imperative that we provide all of our children with the best education possible, and that extends beyond high school.

Too many times students don’t pursue a higher education because their parents just can’t afford it.

One of the arguments for continually hiring expatriate workers is that there aren’t enough qualified Caymanians for many of those jobs.

This move by Government should help bridge the gap. As more Caymanian students qualify for higher education they can be trained to take over the jobs filled by expats.

In this every-changing technical world it is becoming more and more important to have that old sheepskin in hand when looking for a job.

The Cayman Islands have become a competitive place in which to find a job so it’s necessary to enter the job market well prepared.

Because the financial aid is being offered to all Caymanian students it will no longer appear that Government favours only students who attend government schools.

It is a significant change in Government’s policy and one that should be commended.

Of course all students who want to avail themselves of Advanced Level training will have to attain the relevant passes in CXC or GCSE examinations.

They must prove to Government that they are made of the right stuff to be invested in.

Education Minister Alden McLaughlin promised us there would be many changes in the education system when he took over his ministerial role.

Some decisions have been controversial, but this one on financial aid should be lauded.

It’s almost a sure bet that those students who take A-Level classes and do well will also be able to get financial assistance from the universities they are eyeing.

The decision to provide financial aid to all Caymanian students to attain a higher education is a win-win for everyone; the students, the Government and the country.

Well done.

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