Eighteen promising students attending government schools across Belize, who needed assistance to either begin or continue their high school education, have received scholarship certificates and stipends through a joint effort of the Government of Taiwan and the Office of the Special Envoy.. The sponsorship which has the blessings of the Ministry of Education, is a new initiative started by the Government of Taiwan, based on needs and requests made through the Office of the Special Envoy. Here's News Five's Marion Ali with the details.

Marion Ali, Reporting

Eighteen Belizean teenagers, many of them from rural communities, and who wanted to either start or continue their high school education will have the chance to do so through assistance provided by the Government of Taiwan. On Monday, the students received scholarship certificates, following requests by the Office of the Special Envoy for sponsorship from the Taiwanese Embassy. Special Envoy, Rossana Brice´┐Żo announced that the assistance also includes money to cover for either books or uniforms.

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Rossana Brice´┐Żo, Special Envoy

"These scholarships will ensure an opportunity for learning, guaranteeing an education to our children and assisting our children in their development and future lives. The honourees who are here today come from humble homes countrywide and are most deserving of these scholarships. Along the way someone or something sparked their curiousity, someone introduced them to a future they never envisioned and somehow inspired them to persevere, despite their many challenges."

Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, David Kuan-Chou Chien encouraged the students to study hard, keep focused and to contribute to Belize's developments when they finish their studies.

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David Kuan-Chou Chien, Taiwanese of Belize

"We sincerely hope these cooperation projects and programs will strengthen our partnership and also advance Belize's national development, especially in education. We attach a lot of attention to the bi-national educational cooperation programs because we know education is the pillar of our national development and our young generation is our future hope of our society, of our nation, and our world."

Minister of Education, Francis Fonseca reminded that the education of Belize's children is prioritized in the national budget, and that his ministry supports these kinds of investments in our future leaders.

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

"For us in Belize there is no better investment than the education of our young people. Education is not just about sitting in a classroom and learning. That's important but really the ultimate goal of education is improving the quality of life of our people. When people have an opportunity to get an education they lead better lives. They lead more meaningful lives. They lead more productive lives, and they more positively contribute to the growth of our society."


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In an effort to ensure education is accessible to all Belizeans, the Office of the Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children and the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) partnered this year to offer secondary school scholarships for students entering first through third form at government schools. Thanks to this initiative, the parents of 18 young men and women from across the country will have one less worry as tuition and fees will be fully covered by these scholarships.