PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On Wednesday Member of Parliament (MP) Claudius Buncamper leader of the United St. Maarten Party (USP) faction in parliament forwarded a letter to the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, the honorable Rudolphe Samuel, enquiring about the possibilities of scholarships being granted for students to attend courses at NIPA and USM.
In his letter to the minister MP Buncamper stated that “NIPA recently began offering associates classes for their new nursing program, and the University of St. Martin (USM) offers the secondary teachers certification and the bachelor of arts degree in elementary education” and asked why students who aspire to pursue their MBO (Associates) degrees are not being encouraged to follow the courses offered by NIPA, instead of opting to study abroad.
MP Buncamper said that he is not aware if scholarships or other financial assistance is offered to students attending courses at NIPA and USM, which has far more financial benefits for the government’s coffers.
Students attending the three years nursing course at NIPA pay US$3.500,= per year, which the MP believes is far less than what government pays for sending students abroad to follow similar courses.
MP Buncamper asked the minister if government will consider granting scholarships or other financial assistance for courses offered by NIPA and USM, which will significantly decrease government’s expenses. Buncamper queried how much government has spent over the past 5 years on scholarships to students studying abroad and to those studying at USM.
MP Buncamper went on to enquire how many scholarships have been granted to NIPA students in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and how much money is reserved in the 2021 budget for local scholarships.