Gov’t trained more than 20,000 Afro-Guyanese through several programmes – GS Jagdeo

More than 20,000 Afro-Guyanese who did not have any scholarship or skill training programme in 2020 now, under this ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic Government, were trained in various programmes.

During his weekly press conference at Freedom House, General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo once again shut down allegations that Afro-Guyanese are not benefitting from government’s programmes.

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during his weekly press conference

“So, you have now, through the GOAL, GROW, BIT and WIIN programmes, over 20,000 Afro-Guyanese of the 50,000 people who are being trained…More than 20,000 Afro-Guyanese who did not have any scholarship or training programme in 2020 now, under this government, were trained,” the general secretary underscored.

According to the general secretary, the PPP had really suffered greatly as a result of the ‘whisper campaign’, falsely portraying that they are racists and only concerned about the advancement of one group of Guyanese.

Dr Jagdeo reemphasised that the APNU/PNC thrives on racism which is the only tool that it has to mobilise people and added that it has no track record of achievements.

The general secretary further said the strategic policymaking and the government’s progress belied that position.

He continued by saying, “We have taken a deliberate strategy. In opposition, we pointed this out…And now in government, we intend to tackle that issue frontally. That means confronting the groups that are really racists in this country.”

Guyanese from all sections of society are benefitting from the government’s programmes and investments not only to ensure equitable access but to also uplift their standard for living.  

Government’s Get Ready for Opportunity to Work (GROW) initiative, provides Guyanese who were unable to complete their secondary education or who received fewer than five passes in CSEC/GCE subjects with the opportunity to matriculate into university education.

“We have had close to 5,900 persons under the GROW programme who have qualified. And about 3,000 of those are Afro-Guyanese and 366 are from Sophia. And half of them have gone off to tertiary education,” he emphasised.

Since its commencement in 2021, the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) has successfully fulfilled its objective of providing over 20,000 tertiary-level scholarships to Guyanese from every region.

Today, 27,000 Guyanese, of which more than half are Afro-Guyanese, are on GOAL studying for universities degrees, free of cost.

During the 2024 budget debates, it was highlighted that some $90.8 million was spent on five ministers of the previous administration for personal scholarships while they denied over 600 Guyanese who could have been beneficiaries of government scholarships.

Many Guyanese are also benefitting from a slew of technical and vocational training programmes through the Board of Industrial Training (BIT). 

Furthermore, the Women’s Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN) undertaking, which was coined in 2022, has already impacted over 8,000 women via various skill training programmes for entrepreneurial ventures. 

He explained that the government was accused of shutting down the night schools in Sophia and Kildonan which was not the case since these facilities were private endeavours.

“We are still open to supporting these private schools if they do good work in the community. And so, I told them, ‘Let’s have a second look at these schools and if we can still help them,” GS Jagdeo noted.