Minister Bharrat takes GOAL to six Region Nine villages

Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Vickram Bharrat launched the Government’s 20,000 online scholarship programme in six villages in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) during a recent three-day visit to the Region.

He encouraged residents at Awarewanauwa, Crowdar, Maruranau, Parikwarinauwa, Potarinau and Shulinab to seize the opportunity to obtain tertiary education through the programme. The scholarships are administered through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL).

Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Vickram Bharrat at Parikwarinauwa

Minister Bharrat told residents at Crowdar that they should be eager to take advantage of the online scholarships since they live in a remote community.

“If you live in Region Nine, Rupununi, it is very difficult and it is very expensive to move from the Rupununi or the hinterland to Georgetown to attend University, or to acquire a tertiary level education.”

GOAL allows persons to study from the comfort of their homes and/or communities.  

Minister Bharrat told villagers that the PPP/C Government understands the unique challenges faced by remote hinterland and riverine communities with accessing the internet. In this regard, he said the programme is tailored to meet their needs.

Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Vickram Bharrat greets this resident at Potarinau

At Potarinauhe said, “In the hinterland region and riverine communities, internet might be a bit slow or it might be a bit unreliable. That is a fact. We can’t run away from that, that it’s not as good as we get on the coast.  

So, how the course is designed is that when you get a good or reliable internet feed or Wi-Fi, you can download your materials. So, like when you come here at you benab and you sit down, you can actually read your materials. So, you can actually work offline too. But of course, you must have had internet or Wi-Fi initially to download your material.”

The Minister also said the programme is open to youths 18 and over, though he made a special appeal to older adults to check it out.

“You can be 100. You can be 90. You can be 70. So, the grannies and the grandfathers can apply. The mothers, the fathers, the uncles, the aunts, and also the youths can apply to do these programmes.”

A section of the gathering at Shulinab

Minister Bharrat explained that there are also programmes which cater for people at varying levels of education, even those who do not have formal qualifications. He noted that investors are exploring opportunities in Guyana, due to the series of large oil discoveries and that the Government saw the need to upskill its population so it can be ready to capitalise on them as the economy grows. 

Application forms were distributed, and prospective applicants were encouraged to submit their bids before the June 5 deadline.

The Minister also spoke to the villagers about the importance of vaccination so Guyana could move past the pandemic. He said that in addition to adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, vaccination is the only way Guyana can return to normalcy.

Minister Bharrat also listened to residents’ concerns and committed to relaying same to the respective subject Ministers for redress.