Free UG education closer to realisation – Vice President hints
Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has made it clear that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration will ensure education is free at the University of Guyana (UG) before the administration’s first term in office ends.
The vice president said the move to remove fees at the nation’s tertiary institution is in keeping with the government’s manifesto promise.
Dr Jagdeo was at the time addressing a large gathering at the launch of government’s part-time jobs Initiative at the Diamond Secondary School on Friday.
“We promised free education in our manifesto, free university education in the five years. So… before the end of the five years, UG will become free,” the VP stated.
The government has already distributed some 14, 000 online scholarships through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL).
The 20,000 online scholarships programme is also the fulfilment of a pledge made to provide opportunities for educational development nationwide. Within the first year of its launch over 8,000 citizens applied for the free-online programme.
The vice president said the administration had intended to make 20,000 of the online scholarships available. However, the accommodation mark was revised due to the overwhelming interest shown by citizens.
The government through GOAL, partnered with new institutions to meet the challenges and demands of various sectors in Guyana. This includes the oil and gas sector, engineering and construction and information security.
GOAL is set to offer 187 programmes that can be accessed from 15 reputable academic institutions across the world, including India, Africa, the United Kingdom and Germany. The programmes, which are being financed by the government, range from certificate-level to PhDs.
The sum of $1.3 billion was approved for GOAL in Budget 2022.
Meanwhile, Dr Jagdeo highlighted a number of major projects for the Diamond community, including a new 60,000 square feet hospital that will be outfitted with a state of the art CT scan and other amenities.
That project, he stated, will commence next year and is expected to be completed within two years.
The move to establish such a high class health facility in the area is part of the government’s overarching strategy to modernise the health sector, ensuring that it matches international standard. Dr Jagdeo also spoke about several infrastructural projects along the East Bank Corridor that will be implemented to ease travelling time and traffic congestion.