Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves believes that the Vincentian students studying in Cuba and facing difficulties amid the Covid-19 pandemic should sit out their adversities to the end of the semester as breaking off could have implications for their scholarships.
Dr Gonsalves said on radio yesterday that the national scholars or persons who have received grants and other forms of assistance through government have to be assisted. He said there has to be some addition support for students in Cuba but some students will use the additional resources to come home, whether it is now or a little while later.
Prime Minister Gonsalves said he spoke with this country’s Ambassador Ellsworth John who told him the students in Cuba have decided “to stay put until the term is finished.”
Dr Gonsalves said the Cubans have reopened the universities and they have 50 to 60 days to the end. He said the bulk of the student are pursuing studies in medicine and nursing.
“And I think the challenge there, if they don’t complete this period, they can’t be sure that they will have paid scholarships next year because if they leave too early, if they leave before the completion of the academic year, they would not have completed all the requisites and, therefore, will have to repeat the year.
“So, may as well they stay and ‘bear the pain and suffering,’ Dr Gonsalves said.
Prime Minister Gonsalves said it is a “difficult situation” but the Vincentian students are “in it with their Cuban brothers and sisters. He said he spoke with the office of the Chief Personnel Officer and they are compiling what they need to in order to give support to the students.