GOAL scholarship outreach attracts scores of applicants in Region 8

Scores of Kurukubaru, Kato, Paramakatoi and Mahdia residents signed up for the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarships during an outreach on Friday.

Public Service Minister, Sonia Parag assisting an applicant during the one-day outreach

Public Service Minister Sonia Parag and Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai journeyed to the far-flung communities to inform residents about the various scholarship programmes offered and assist in the application process.  Director of GOAL, Dr Jacob Opadeyi was also present to render assistance.

Amerindian Affairs Minister, Pauline Sukhai assisting a person with the application process

This is the first phase of GOAL scholarships rolling out in 2023 and will allow persons who do not have any formal qualifications to receive a scholarship to pursue their studies.

During her address to residents of Paramakatoi, Minister Parag said over 200 Region Eight residents were awarded scholarships since the programme was rolled out. However, in 2022 there was a decrease in applications from the region.

Mahdia residents turned up in numbers on Friday to the GOAL outreach at the Mahdia Secondary School

As such, she encouraged attendees to make use of the opportunity to better themselves, and their communities to contribute to national development.

“You have to be able to be progressive in your own mind, moving forward, always wanting to do better, wanting to do more. That’s how a country evolves not only by building, the people have to move with the country…  There is no limit to what you can do and you shouldn’t limit yourself,” she said.

A resident filling out the GOAL application form

Although these are just certificate programmes, Minister Parag explained that the certificates will pave the way for persons to pursue their degrees.

She also committed to residents that she will engage with Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips to see how quickly the ICT hubs can be connected to the internet.

The minister made it clear that the PPP/C government is committed to closing the educational gap between hinterland and the coast, to ensure Amerindians take part in national development.

Meanwhile, Minister Sukhai said this is one of the many commitments the government has been fulfilling since it resumed office in 2020.

“We have ensured that when we return to office in 2020 August, we immediately began to provide our country with the interventions that we said we were going to make. We’re realising our commitments and promises for the hinterland. We are almost 100% there. We have done quite a lot in terms of the hinterland manifesto promises” Minister Sukhai noted.

The government aims to award 20,000 online scholarships to Guyanese during their first five years in office.  To date, over 13,700 scholarships have been awarded since the programme’s inception in 2021. 

This is a collaborative effort between the Education and Public Service Ministries to prepare Guyanese for opportunities that are available, as Guyana undergoes a massive transformation.