‘Do not limit yourself by your qualifications’ President Ali tells GOAL graduates

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali addressed over 1,700 graduates from the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) on Friday, emphasising the importance of humility and perseverance, alongside their academic achievements.

The president delivered this message during the graduation ceremony at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

He said that Guyana’s economy is further bolstered through their achievements, and stressed that their qualifications should foster greater wisdom and a desire to make valuable contributions to Guyanese society.

President Ali pointed out that the number of people with post-secondary education has drastically increased since the 1970s. This means that graduates must continuously learn and improve to stay ahead.

However, he cautioned against mistaking qualifications for a shortcut to success.

Over 1700 persons graduated from the GOAL programme on Friday

“Many people believe that when you get your Master’s degree, you have qualified yourself out of certain jobs. That is the attitude that will sink all of us. Don’t let a higher level of education ever make you feel like you are superior,” the president said.

He further elaborated, “People are so consumed with pursuing higher levels of education, and rightfully so, but sometimes we miss very important things. Sometimes we believe that with a master’s degree and a PhD we must start from the top. Some people never worked a day in their life, but they believe that with a master’s degree they are entitled to a certain level.”

Acknowledging the value of hard work, the Guyanese leader pointed out that qualifications are just the foundation.

A section of the crowd of graduates at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Friday

Success, he underscored, comes from sustained effort.

He encouraged the graduates to let this idea guide their future pursuits and to use their qualifications as a springboard for lifelong learning.

The head of state also commended the graduates for their determination and reaffirmed the government’s unwavering dedication to incentivising and providing opportunities for higher education.

“You have mastered your own journey. You have invested in your destiny. Your dreams are now your reality, and your goals are now no longer goals, they are now your results,” he said.

The Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) allows Guyanese to obtain tertiary education from accredited institutions across the globe, free of cost. It also equips them with the necessary qualifications to take advantage of the multiple job opportunities opening up in a range of sectors.

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance and Public Service, Dr Ashni Singh, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, other cabinet ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, and other officials were also present at the ceremony.