-at Region three programme launch
Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand says the Government’s 20,000 online scholarships, which are being facilitated through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL), would be awarded fairly to benefit all eligible applicants.
The Minister gave this assurance on Saturday, during the rollout of the initiative in Leonora, Region Three, which was held at the Synthetic Track and Field Facility.
“We are not here to serve PPP supporters alone, or to serve the parents of students who are here who voted for us. We are here to serve every single Guyanese, regardless of how you voted, regardless of where you live,” she said.
Minister Manickchand lauded the astute leadership of President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who spearheaded the initiative through intense consultations in the lead up to the 2020 elections.
While encouraging citizens to take advantage of the initiative to boost their economic prospects, and to help develop the nation, the Minister pledged the Government’s continued assistance.
“We are holding your hand through this programme. We are ensuring that while you go to work and look after your families, we are walking with you and supporting you to give you the push you need to reach the next level.
You will get whatever support you need to go on this programme and be successful,” Minister Manickchand said.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Hon. Deodat Indar, who accompanied Minister Manickchand to the outreach, urged citizens to put their education first.
“This education development programme is for every boy and girl who is or who were told that you can’t do better. You can do better and you can do better with education,” he said.
Several applicants voiced their support for the programme, and commended the Administration for its investment in educating the nation.
Deputy Head Mistress of Parika Salem Secondary School, Ms. Candace Vandayar said, “I think it is a good initiative in a sense that I see a lot of young people being able to get themselves qualified or upgrade their qualifications.”
Referencing the limitations of face-to-face learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Vandayar said persons now have the opportunity to pursue learning “in the comfort of their own home. So, I am hoping that they really, really, take this opportunity and make good use of it.”
Another educator, university graduate, Mr. Ronald Emanuel told DPI that he was impressed that GOAL offers a Bachelor’s Preparatory Programme.
“One of the things I like about the programme, as the Minister said, is not only for students who have qualifications- CXC, CAPE and so on, but those who don’t have any qualifications. They have the opportunity to do something, better themselves, put themselves out there in the world and they can become someone better in society.”
His wife, Mrs. Arusha Emanuel who is interested in the psychology programmes added that GOAL, “provides a lot of young people in Guyana opportunities to develop themselves professionally and gain important skills and knowledge.”
Meanwhile, 23-year-old Mr. Kumar Persaud who has successfully graduated from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Training Centre, with a credit in mechanical engineering, said he is eager to apply for a scholarship. The young man said he was unable to complete his CSEC exams as his family had been enduring some challenges, but the GOAL programme is “a great opportunity for our students around the country and I think everyone should participate in this.”
Regional Chairman, Mr. Ishan Ayube, Parliament Secretaries, Hon. Dr. Tandika Smith, Hon. Vikash Ramkissoon, and other officials also attended the outreach.
The scholarships are organised jointly by the Ministries of Education and Public Service, offering 85 programmes through GOAL.