REVISION OF THE NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP POLICY 2011

The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Library Services on June 30th 2017 received approval from House of Assembly to make amendments to its National Scholarship Policy 2011. The Policy was modified to allow inclusiveness of different strategies to strengthen aspects of the already established 2011 Policy, making procedures and practices more relevant in today’s scholarship system.

Changes that were implemented to the National Policy 2011 are as follows:

Ø  Enlargement of the approved Institutions list which must now be officially accredited by an established Accrediting Agency in accordance to the accreditation requirements for Higher Education Institutions in each jurisdiction (Caribbean, United Kingdom or United States).

Ø  Establishment of a Full and Partial Scholarship Approved Institution list.

Ø  To distinct between scholarship categories to further define the criteria of awarding amounts for Full, Partial Scholarship, Grants and Distance learning.

Ø  Capping the number of grants received per student and the maximum awarding amounts.

Ø  Establishing clear academic standards to determine eligibility for awarding of local and international scholarships in the various scholarship categories.

Ø  Determine academic standards for awardees to maintain their scholarship awards.

Ø  Regularizing standards for eligibility for scholarships, transfers and deferral of scholarship awards.

Ø  To establish a mechanism to ensure transparency and remove any perception of biasness in the Scholarship Awarding Process.

This modified National Scholarship Policy 2017 document will be implemented by the Ministry of Education and the Education Advisory Committee immediately for applicants who have applied for tertiary education scholarships during this year’s scholarship review process.

https://www.gov.tc/images/TCI_National_Scholarship_Policy_June_2017F.PDF

 

CONTRACTS AND PROCUREMENT UNIT HOSTS CONTRACTORS WORKSHOP AROUND THE ISLANDS

The Contracts and Procurement Unit within the Office of the Deputy Governor in collaboration with the Project Management Division in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Planning recently hosted a ‘Contractor’s Workshop’ around the TCI.

The workshops commenced on Thursday 29th June in Salt Cay, followed by meetings in Grand Turk, South Caicos, Middle and North Caicos and ended in Providenciales on Thursday 6th July.

The objective of the workshops were to bring more awareness primarily to the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) capital program and to a lesser extent the annual maintenance works program by educating and exposing current and potential contractors to the vast array of opportunities that exist.

The list of current and open tenders can be found on TCIG’s website at https://gov.tc/government-tenders/. In addition, TCIG’s Annual Procurement Plan which details all capital projects, the approved budget for the project and the proposed quarter the project will be released can be found at https://gov.tc/other-procurement-notices.

It is anticipated that the majority of projects will be released by the Contracts and Procurement Unit and the Project Management Division between July to December. Due to this, we would encourage interested persons to check the website regularly. Moreover, it is the intention of the team to conduct follow-up meetings across the islands throughout the course of the current financial year.

TCI HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY SPEAKER AND MEMBERS ATTEND 42ND REGIONAL CONFERENCE

His Honour the Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly attended the 42nd Regional Conference of the Caribbean, the Americas and the Atlantic Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association held in Basseterre, St. Christopher from the 16th to the 24th June, 2017.
 
The official opening was on Monday, June 19th, 2017 where a number of Speakers and other Parliamentarians from the region were in attendance. The Governor General H.E. Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton and Deputy Prime Minister of St. Kitts, the Premier and Deputy Premier of St. Nevis was also in attendance.
 
The Regional Conference resumes as its Annual General Meeting convenes every year with the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians who assembled from June 16th, 2017 for their 11th Annual Meeting and conference, their theme: “Next Steps in Strategizing for Women’s Leadership in the Caribbean Political Space”. This speaks to the preparation, training and involvement in front line Politics for women and how the Region and Commonwealth can assist in giving women the leverage to be able to access the Political Barriers that normally hinder women from ascending to top positions within Party Politics and plateauing to senior positions or given the opportunity to canvas to run for political office, hence gender being diminished.
 
The Conference theme sessions narrative was geared towards addressing the importance of engendering positive perceptions of Parliaments and Parliamentarians. The negative and positive effects the Media forged in enhancing Parliamentary democracy.
 
The underlying factors that presently exist and the perception in the wider Caribbean, is that Parliaments are exclusive, isolated and discreet when it comes to the involvement and dissemination of information to the Public, while the Parliamentarians are corrupt, selfish and don’t live up to their word or promises. 
 
Public Education by Parliaments and Parliamentarians have to do a better job by connecting with their constituents, and the public wanting to hear the local issues being addressed because their perception is that Parliaments come off as a rubber-stamp rather than addressing the authentic needs of the people, and the people not understanding how Parliaments processes work.
 
The role of the media can be an asset to be involved in the process by providing the conduit for public education. However, Social Media and other media outlets can also be seen as references of doom and gloom because information coming to the public from Parliaments and Parliamentarians are of an obscured and ill-reporting nature, has caused our Politicians and Parliaments to be seen in a most negative light.
 
The Turks and Caicos Islands has been viewed in a positive light because of the many organizational systems such as, the Integrity Commission, Complaints Commission, Auditor General’s Office and their play to insure good governance, not discounting other aspects of our Parliamentary democratic systems; The Appropriation Committee, Public Accounts Committee and many other standing committees that create the checks and balances for other Statutory bodies, breathes a breath of fresh air for the Turks and Caicos Islands and our approach to allowing these procedures and practices to be in the viewing and hearing of the public by various Media Houses for scrutiny and transparency.
 
What was most significant and inviting, the highlight of Turks and Caicos Islands was seen and used as a model for other democracies in the region to emulate, regarding the vast involvement and inclusion of women parliamentarians and the recent election of the first woman Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands regarding the mature democratic approach to include women in leadership roles and capacities.
 
The Turks and Caicos Islands was well represented as His Honour the Speaker was one of the presenters at the same regional conference on the topic, “Enhancing Caribbean Parliamentary Democracy via public and media participation”. Other presenters on the same topic were, Hon. Dr. Dhanayshar Mahabir of Trinidad and Tobago and Hon. Randy Horton (Speaker) of Bermuda.
 
Turks and Caicos Islands was also nominated as a member of the Regional Executive Committee which joins in the executive decision making for the region on Parliamentary Matters.
 
The Delegation attending the 42nd Regional Conference:
· Hon. Dwayne S. Taylor, MHA – Speaker
· Hon. Derek Taylor, OBE, JP, MHA
· Hon. Porsha Stubbs-Smith, MHA
· Mrs. Tracey I. Parker – Clerk to the House of Assembly