Majority of Guyanese students in Cuba wish to remain

─ Govt continues to support students abroad

 DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, April 22, 2020

 Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Public Service Department, Soyinka Grogan, on Monday disclosed that eighty percent of Guyanese studying in Cuba have indicated their willingness to remain and continue their studies.

Despite the global pandemic, the students have indicated their wish to remain especially since its unknown if they will return to complete their studies.

“This is primarily the case of the sixth-year medical students and the post-graduate students,” Grogan said, noting clearly that this information was conveyed to the Public Service Department by the Student Affairs Officer in Cuba.

“Schools are not physically open but they are doing a lot of work online. They are being provided with material from the University to facilitate study sessions in their respective rooms,” the Permanent Secretary relayed.

Grogan said the Student Affairs Officer was able to purchase Personal Protective Equipment and hygiene supplies for the students. “These are in Cuba but will be cleared by Immigration and Customs,” she added.

In the absence of these items, the students are utilising cloth masks which were distributed by the University.

Meanwhile Minister of Public Service, the Hon. Tabitha Sarabo-Halley dismissed what she described as erroneous information being peddled in some sections of the media, that claim Guyanese students want to return home from Cuba,

The Minister said those articles do not accurately describe the sentiments of a majority of the students. She noted that “some mischief is afoot,” since the articles give the impression that the government is not interested in the wellbeing of Guyanese studying abroad.

“It was recognised that other forms of assistance would be required at this time and we are working to send hampers to all 77 students both fully-funded and self-funded who are currently in Cuba.”

When the COVID-19 virus started in China we decided on and maintained a certain line of action despite disagreements from many, but to date, the students who remained are pleased now that they did not leave as China is opening up and school will recommence shortly,” Minister Sarabo-Halley underscored

The Public Service Minister reassured that the Coalition Government will continue to seek updates from the Student Affairs Officer in Cuba as it relates to the students’ wellbeing.