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October 22, 1998 - One hundred and eighteen (118) persons have been approved for study leave with pay for the academic year 1998/99 at a cost of 2.37 million E.C. dollars per year. This represents a substantial increase over previous years.

According to figures released by the Ministry of the Public Service in 1995/96 thirty three (33) persons were approved for study leave with pay at a cost of 0.8 million E.C. dollars. In 1996/97, fifty eight (58) persons were approved at a cost of 1.42 million E.C. dollars and in 1997/98, forty seven (47) requests for study leave with pay were approved at a cost of 1.24 million E.C. dollars.

Noting the significant improvement in the level of support for such requests, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Kenny Anthony said, AWhile the increase is consistent with government=s efforts to improve the quality of the public service, it is quite clear that the cost is very substantial. Indeed, the amount of 2.37 million E.C. dollars spent for the academic year 1998/99 does not include the replacement costs for those persons who have left.@

The Prime Minister added that given the high costs, it will be necessary for the government to place a ceiling on the number of such requests which will be approved each year. Notwithstanding this, he said, the government is pleased that this year, it has been able to more than double the number of awards given in any of the previous three years.



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