The Government of Barbados has committed to paying the tuition fees of Barbadians who pursue undergraduate courses of study at the University of the West Indies, Barbados Community College and the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College. In return they are required to Give Back a set number of hours in approved community service per year.
The official commencement of the Give Back Programme occurs in February, 2020.
Participation in the Give Back Programme is mandatory. However, provision will be made by the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (herein after called the Ministry of Education) to accommodate those persons who are not desirous of participating in the Give Back Programme. Such persons are required to indicate their intention not to participate at the time of registration for their course of study.
Eligible persons who fail to register to participate in the Programme will be required to repay the Government the full cost of their tuition as long as fees have already been paid on their behalf.
Registration is done by first going to www.gov.bb/giveback to create an account.
A list of approved entities will be published by the Ministry of Education and updated from time to time as the need arises.
Participants in the Give Back Programme must select through the app the approved entity/entities where the period of volunteer service will be completed.
All participating entities are required to maintain adequate records of the participation of students in the Give Back Programme and provide suitable verification of the performance and completion of community service as stipulated by the Ministry of Education.
The Focal Point of the entity/entities at which the student has volunteered their service must confirm completion of the volunteer’s hours.
Students are required to complete the required hours of volunteer service during the year, failing which students will be required to finance their tuition unless arrangements are made with the institution to make up the time.
Those persons who are registered as full-time students are required to complete 150 hours of approved community service per year.
Those persons who are registered as part-time students are required to complete 100 hours of approved community service per year.
The 100/150 hours can be completed over the academic year or over the holiday period.
The tertiary institution must approve the activity/project and submit the details to the Ministry of Education, with a description of the nature of the project/activity and indicate the nature of the voluntary work to be undertaken. The name of the project coordinator/entity and contact information must be included.
Students who are granted leave of absence from their respective institutions may have their hours of volunteer service paused and resumed at a later date.
Under what circumstances will students who have given hours otherwise have them counted under the Give Back Programme?
Students pursuing medicine who have mandatory clinical and residency programmes will have their hours counted under the Give Back Programme.
Students who are pursuing programmes of study that have mandatory voluntary requirements that meet the stipulations specified by the Ministry of Education will have their hours counted under the Give Back Programme.
Special consideration will be given to students enrolled in programs who, because of their schedule, would automatically be giving back as part of their internships.
How do Barbadian students studying at the Mona and St. Augustine Campuses as well as in the Bahamas participate in the Give Back Programme?
Students studying at the Mona and St. Augustine Campuses and in the Bahamas are required to register with the Ministry of Education to facilitate their “give back” hours during a four-week period in the summer.
Any student who participates in the Give Back Programme has the right to raise objection or dissatisfaction with any aspect of the programme.
Complaints can be made in writing to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education or emailed to [email protected]; [email protected]; or [email protected]
What if a student fails to complete the requisite number of hours of volunteer service during the year of study?
Students who fail to complete the requisite hours of volunteer service during the year of study will be obligated to finance their tuition for the year unless arrangements are made with the institution to make up the time.
Is any certification provided to show that a student has completed the requisite number of hours in the Give Back Programme?
Students who have completed the required number of hours of volunteer service will receive a certificate of completion generated by the app.
Each participating entity will:
- register with the Ministry of Education to participate in the Give Back Programme;
- establish a Focal Point who will be responsible for the administration of the Give Back Programme at the entity;
- provide appropriate activities as part of the Give Back Programme;
- provide adequate supervision or oversight of the students registered to undertake volunteer service with the entity; and
- submit such reports in a manner and at such times as required by the Ministry.
Students are required to:
- complete their registration through the app to participate in the Give Back Programme;
- select approved Entity/Entities where the required number of hours or volunteer community service will be completed;
- undertake such activities with approved volunteer service entity/entities to ensure compliance with the policy as set out by the Ministry of Education; and
- log their start and completion times in the app as evidence of having completed specified activities and hours of service in the Give Back Programme.
Who can students or representatives of entities contact for additional information on the Give Back Programme?
Persons can contact the following focal points by email for additional information on the Give Back Programme: