Province to announce new scholarship program

Northwestern B.C. school board chair looks forward to including trades students

COAST Mountains school district chair Art Erasmus says he’s looking forward to a revamped provincial scholarship program for graduating students because it’s expected to include trades students as well as ones headed toward more academic post secondary programs.

“Trades are going to be important as we move forward. The Passport to Education [program] was not based on that,” he said of the program which officially ended with this year’s crop of Grade 12 graduates.

Based on marks, the Passport to Education program provided $250 to students completing Grade 10, the same amount for completing Grade 11 and $500 for finishing Grade 12, with the money meant for specific post secondary education programs.

But the provincial education ministry announced three years ago it was phasing out the program in favour of one aimed at more classes of students.

The changes follow a 2012 education ministry review of the Passport program which showed “a desire for a broader, more robust program that is tailored to local needs and values achievement beyond grades and exam marks.”

Details of the new program, which is expected to apply to students in the senior high school grades as of this year, are expected to be announced later this month, an education ministry official said.