By Demion McTair. Updated 7:08 a.m, Friday May 15, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – While the cost of an airline ticket is the only thing standing in the way of some Vincentian students in Jamaica who wish to travel home to St. Vincent, a lot of attention has not been paid to the issue of some students not wanting to come home.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said on Star Radio on May 12, that he spoke to a student who told him that coming home would not be the right thing for her at this time, as there are distractions at her living area which could affect preparation for her exams.
Final exams at The University of The West Indies will commence on June 15 and end on July 3rd, 2020.
These exams will be online.
Dr. Gonsalves said other students have other issues which are both emotional and physical in nature which they are factoring in.
One News SVG, which has two editors as students in Jamaica, decided to survey the views of students regarding travelling home to St. Vincent. Some of the responses of five students are captured here: (pseudonyms will be used to protect the anonymity of the students):
Student one: “It depends on when the flight coming, cause I doh wah my exams get affected”.
Student two: “tha price deh steep boy. I prefer wait it out”.
Student three: “The borders might open soon. CAL (Caribbean Airlines) might start flying soon”.
Student four: “Home Wifi bad”.
Student five: “I prefer leave now because this might be the only opportunity for now to go home”
Jamaica’s borders remain closed, making chartered flights their only option out of the country, by air.
The students have been faced with quotations of US $1,339 from LIAT and US $975 from Fly One Caribbean for a one-way ticket to St.Vincent.
One News SVG understands that the majority of the students wish to return home at this time. Other students prefer to stay on campus for fears that home environment and uncertainty surrounding quarantine could affect their exams.
Some students also have other personal reasons why they would prefer to stay in Jamaica at this time.
Some students and their parents have been working with Fly One Caribbean to charter the students home.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves announced financial assistance for students in Jamaica to help with some needs at this time.