Govt injects over $10 billion in scholarships past four years

The government, through the Ministry of Public Service, has expended more than $10 billion in awarding scholarships between 2020 to 2023, with the highest being over $3.8 billion in 2022.

Former minister of the ministry, Sonia Parag on Tuesday underscored that the efforts made by the government to meet the academic needs of Guyanese are to build the human capital of the country.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Sonia Parag

In a heated debate defending budget 2024 in the National Assembly, Minister Parag said numerous scholarships have been rolled out in all the indigenous regions, specifically Regions One, Seven, Eight, and Nine.

Within the last three years, some 632 government scholarships were granted to Region One residents, while a total of 698 for Region Seven. Region Eight and Nine saw 515 and 526 indigenous people being granted scholarships respectively.

“This year the Ministry of Public Service will be getting over $6 billion…to ensure that we are able to develop our human resource capacity in this country to serve the public sector,” the minister highlighted.

Minister Parag stated that the massive investment is due to human capital being necessary for the country’s transformation.

She reminded that the government moved to restore public servants’ training when it returned to office in 2020.

According to her, the PPP\C Administration trained approximately 4,997 persons within the public sector in just under three years, while the APNU+AFC trained a mere 4,931 persons in five years. 

The public service minister highlighted that although there is much criticism from the opposition, its members are also benefitting from the government’s Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarship programme.

“We were able to grant 21,442 ordinary Guyanese scholarships…there was so much talk that the GOAL scholarship was overriding the University of Guyana. We have always placed emphasis on the University of Guyana as our national university. In addition to the budgetary allocation…Last year for the UG, the Ministry of Public Service under its public sector scholarship programme granted $918 million in scholarships,” Minister Parag stated.

Rebutting statements made by various opposition members that the PPP\C Government has left the indigenous people behind, the former public service minister set the record straight, noting that the government has a track record of always taking care of its first people.