More than 1,000 persons have so far applied for the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarships being offered by the Government of Guyana, less than a week after it was launched.
Accompanied by First Lady, Arya Ali and Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand; Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag launched the initiative on Friday last in Region Six and has since been fanning out across the country with her Cabinet colleagues to get persons to apply.
Parag said on Wednesday that the applications have been pouring in as she wrapped up the two-day outreach to Barima-Waini (Region One). She was joined by the Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal.
“I was actually overwhelmed with the turnout that we have had in Matthews Ridge, in Port Kaituma and now here in Mabaruma with the amount of persons who are actually interested in upgrading their educational skills and academics.
“We have had a great turnout from Mabaruma, and we have had different age groups which are very applicable to these 20,000 online scholarships initiative that we are doing,” Parag said.
The minister said the outreach to the region is one of several planned to the hinterland to ensure that the people are informed about the scholarships and that they are given an opportunity to apply.
“This government pledged to the people of this country leading up to the elections that they will take care of all the communities in the hinterland.
“No one will be left behind and especially, we know that opportunities like this were not something that came to the hinterland and we are correcting that and correcting those who made those mistakes,” she said.
Minister Parag and her team interacted with the applicants and helped them to register for programmes of their choice.
Meanwhile, in his address, Minister Croal urged the residents to capitalise on the opportunity to learn. He noted that obtaining education is one way of reducing the gap that exists between the coastland and the hinterland, and he urged persons to become ambassadors of the initiative so that others could benefit.
“Be part of the People’s Progressive Party Government train, the train that has embarked on a path to raise the level of the education of our people and if you have an educated nation, you will have a wealthier nation,” Minister Croal said.
On Tuesday, Minister Parag and a team comprising GOAL Director, Dr Jacob Opadeyi, Region One Chairman, Mr Brentnol Ashley and regional officials, engaged Matthews Ridge residents on the scholarships.
Several of the perspective scholarship awardees expressed gratitude for the initiative, which was spearheaded by President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali. [Extracted and modified from the Department of Public Information]