Wednesday, 22 August 2012 02:30
By press release
Antigua St. John's - In a recent report Caribarena outlined the trials faced by former beneficiary of the Winston Williams Jr. Scholarship Award Dwayne Thomas during his time as a student of the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute.
Mr. Thomas spoke candidly and extensively with Caribarena, and his experiences were faithfully reported.
Now, in response to the several allegations made by Dwayne Thomas and other students, the Hope Tree Foundation, which manages the Winston Williams Charitable Trust, has issued a statement of clarification.
The full text of the release is reproduced below:
In its article of Friday 10th August 2012, Caribarena carried an article under the caption, ‘Scholarship-Retraction, which included comments purported to be that of Mr. Dwayne Thomas, a 2011 recipient of the Winston Williams Jr. Scholarship Awards.
The Winston Williams Jr. Scholarship Awards are offered under the Winston Williams Jr. Charitable Trust which is managed by the Hope Tree Foundation Inc.
Though the Foundation has not been contacted to offer its views on the matter, it feels compelled to do so in light of a number of inaccuracies in the article.
Mr. Dwayne Thomas was one of a number of applicants for the Winston Williams Jr. Scholarship Awards to pursue a two year course of study leading to an Associate’s Degree in Hospitality Management at the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI).
However, based on the requirements for the Programme, Mr. Thomas did not possess the prerequisites required to pursue a course of study leading to an Associate Degree. The three-person Scholarship Selection Committee, chaired by the Community Welfare Officer, Mrs. Debbie Harvey, made a case on behalf of Mr. Thomas, who was eager to pursue further studies in the field of Food and Beverage Service.
Hope Tree Foundation Inc. was able to negotiate with the ABHTI Management to accept him into the One Year Certificate Course in Food and Beverage Services with the understanding that he would also have to complete the required CXC English A course within the year.
When asked about his employment, Mr. Thomas assured the Scholarship Committee that it would not have adversely affected his ability to study. Mr. Thomas was granted two scholarships, a 1 year scholarship to pursue a Certificate Course in Food and Beverage Service at the ABHTI and a 1 year scholarship to pursue continuing education studies at the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Continuing Education in English A.
As part of the arrangements between the ABHTI and the Hope Tree Foundation, the ABHTI Administration would, from time to time, notify the scholarship provider on the status of the students’ performance. They advised that Mr. Thomas was not meeting with the expectations of the ABHTI either in his academic performance or compliance with prescribed rules and regulations.
It was mutually agreed that the ABHTI administration would attempt to work with Mr. Thomas to provide him with additional opportunities to upgrade his academic performance and to make adequate arrangements for him to meet the requirements of the practical course. Hope Tree Foundation can confirm that the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute did all in its ability to assist Mr. Thomas within the scope of the strict requirements for the programme.
It appears that a change in his place of employment status not only impacted negatively on his ability to report for practical training at the ABHTI but also on his ability to pursue his studies at the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Continuing Education. Mr. Thomas did not complete his English A Course at ABICE.
With regret, the ABHTI advised the Hope Tree Foundation; through the scholarship committee that Mr. Thomas’ failure to meet the requirements for practical training as well as the required academic performance and attitude, forced the Institution to require his withdrawal from the programme.
Hope Tree Foundation Inc congratulates the three other recipients of the Winston Williams Jr. Scholarships Awards who are pursuing studies at the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute on the completion of their first year. The Directors and Selection Committee look forward to their successful completion and graduation.
The Hope Tree Foundation fully endorses the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute and will continue to collaborate with the Institute to provide quality services for persons wishing to pursue accredited certification in tourism and hospitality education and training. The Hope Tree Foundation regrets any negative impact which the article may have had on the Institution and is hopeful that this submission will clarify any misunderstanding.