30,000 persons benefitted from GOAL programme in three years – President Ali

Some 30,000 Guyanese have benefitted over the past three years from free, quality education through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) programme.

This was disclosed by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, as he addressed those gathered for the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies’ 27th Annual Awards Gala in New York on Thursday.

In his address, the head of state said his government has been working assiduously to enhance access to quality education, ensuring that universal access is achieved countrywide.

The effort has produced notable results, as the government continues to surpass its goal of providing 20,000 scholarships during its tenure.

“Today, under the GOAL scholarship programme, we have over 345 programmes from 19 universities. More than 30,000 students are on this programme in just three and a half years, 75 per cent of whom are women,” the president said.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

Of this amount, some 2,229 graduated from the UWI programmes.

“This is testimony to partnership and I believe that we in the region need to find more innovative ways in which we can help UWI by incentivising studying there,” President Ali encouraged.

In this year’s budget, a sum of $6 billion was allocated for the GOAL programme to support 6,000 new students and 3,967 continuing students.

In 2024, GOAL will introduce 160 new programmes in general and vocational, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

The programme was launched in 2021 to offer Guyanese an opportunity to advance their education through online and distance learning.

The president also pointed to the UWI School of Medicine that will be constructed in Guyana.

This plan aligns with the government’s vision of crafting a world-class healthcare system, providing advanced training and upskilling opportunities.

Meanwhile, President Ali was bestowed the Legacy Award from the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) and was commended for his commitment to nation-building.

The head of state was hailed as a regional cooperation ‘champion’ by Guyanese-born American actress, CCH Pounder.