Minister Persaud takes GOAL scholarships to Regions Five, Six
– women also urged to sign up for WIIN initiative
Residents of several villages in Regions Five and Six on Saturday welcomed the Government’s 20,000 Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarships initiative.
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud visited Number 76 Village, Skeldon, Yakusari, Corentyne and Bath Settlement, West Berbice to inform residents about the programme.
“We are on the move and we are moving at a tremendous pace because we understand the need. People need not only to survive, but to have a quality of life… I’m very passionate about young people and women being empowered,” Minister Persaud said.
The Minister explained that the GOAL initiative targets Guyanese 18 years and older. She also said the scholarships programme is inclusionary, as it caters for early school leavers and professionals. A six-month Bachelor’s Preparatory Programme has also been designed for persons who do not have the requite qualifications to qualify themselves before pursuing the scholarship programme of their choice.
Minister Persaud also encouraged both vendors and consumers at the Skeldon Market to apply for the scholarships.
In an invited comment, Ms. Nermala Kerrick told DPI that she plans to apply for a scholarship to realise her dream of becoming a cosmetologist.
“I believe it is a great initiative, I have been waiting on this opportunity for quite some time,” she said.
Meanwhile, at the Princetown Shiva Shakti Mandir at Number 76 Village, Corentyne, Berbice, Mr. Salahdin Thomas who wants to pursue a Diploma in Food and Nutrition, praised President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali for the programme. He said those who are not able to pay to pursue academics can now breathe a sigh of relief.
“I think it is a great idea and a great opportunity for the youths out there to go and put out the effort and show what they got because a lot of people waiting for the opportunity…
People with enough money and so forth, they get the financial support but what about other people out there who are not supportive, a lot of people don’t be supportive to us. Now we get the chance here and I think it is a great idea and great opportunity and we do appreciate it.”
Ms. Seeta Harrinarine was also excited about the online scholarships. “I feel really happy excited because with this scholarship a lot of people could manage to have a job,” she said.
Additionally, Minister Persaud encouraged women to take advantage of the Ministry’s flagship programme, Women’s Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN).
WIIN caters to women and girls from 13 years and older. It offers 20 courses in areas such as Information and Communications Technology, Graphics, Decor and Design, Professional Care, Beauty and Wellness and Hospitality and Administration.
Minister Persaud said, “there are many benefits about WIIN because the investment means that you get to invest in self-development. You also get to learn a technical, vocational skill, gain a certificate after the programme.
Also, we are linking you to the opportunity to get funding to start up your own business and if possible, we also try to provide some support with equipment to you.”
Dr. Persaud said it is vital for all women in Guyana to be independent as it will contribute significantly to nation-building.
“When you are independent, you don’t have to stay in abusive situations, you don’t have to take nonsense. You can stand up on your own two feet and I want you to start thinking about this and I want young women especially, to start taking grip of their lives.”
At Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice, aspiring entrepreneurs were pleased that government recognised the disparity in training opportunities for men and women and is seeking to ensure equitable access.
In an invited comment, Ms. Angely Seecharran said more women need to get on board and acquire a life skill.
“I think this is a great opportunity especially for this community because a lot of women are unemployed and are not doing anything. Most of them are at home and are not doing anything, so I think it is a great opportunity and a lot of women will benefit from this.”
Ms. Jenny Jankipersaud who is interested in Decor and Design and Professional Care, said the initiative is timely.
“I think this is a very, very good opportunity to help us women who is at home doing nothing that it could help us to gain experience and achieve what we want.”
Ms. Diane Rajpaul said many women can utilise the training as the foundation for a better life.
“It’s a good initiative, especially for women like me who came out of a failed relationship and is a single mom. So, it is a stepping stone for me to get back on my feet and it’s a good initiative because I know that there are other people out there like me who will accept this and better themselves.”
For the WINN initiative, classes will be held online or in classrooms with no more than 30 persons. Minister Persaud noted each course would also include sessions on the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Acts.