More public service, GOAL scholarships in 2023 – Min Parag

The Ministry of Public Service will continue to make heavy investments in a host of scholarships for Guyanese in 2023, to ensure a well-educated and qualified nation is built.

During the heated 2023 budget debates in the National Assembly Monday, Minister, Sonia Parag announced that some 1,221 persons will continue to benefit from public service scholarships this year.

Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag during the budget debates

She noted that more than 400 persons completed studies through these scholarships at a number of local institutions in 2022.

In what could be described as a dynamic presentation, Minister Parag stressed that it is important for the government to modernise and train public servants to be effective, especially with the rapid growth the country is witnessing.

GOAL Scholarships

With some $1.8 billion allocated to further advance the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) Scholarships programme this year, the administration is well on track to surpass the 20,000 scholarships promised in it manifesto.

In 2022, the government through the public service ministry was able to distribute a total of 167 GOAL scholarships in Region One; 558 in Region Two; 1,429 in Region Three; 3,090 in Region Four and 635 in Region Five.

Accordingly, about 894 persons benefitted from the online courses in Region Six, 191 in Region Seven, 46 in Region Eight, and 143 and 527 in Region Nine and Ten respectively.

The minister made it clear that in 2021 when her ministry selected persons for the GOAL scholarships, everyone who applied from Region One was granted.

Public Servants  

Describing budget 2023 as “comprehensive,” Minister Parag asserted that the well assessed measures which were outlined will support public servants across the nation significantly.  

She said the APNU+AFC Opposition does not have any love for the Guyanese people, since nothing that it promised in its manifesto before assuming office in 2015 was fulfilled.

“Mr. Speaker, they talked about their love for public servants, but they unfeelingly and unapologetically removed the tax-free bonus from the disciplined services… called it a bribe.

“From beginning to end, their vision discredits them completely because none of the promises they made was honoured in their manifesto,” she added.

The minister said the PPP/C Government has always had a track record of caring for the wellbeing of all Guyanese.

“Because you know what? Every year an increase of salary was given no matter the state of finances, and we didn’t always have money but an increase was always given,” Minister Parag pointed out.

The minister noted that apart from the yearly salary increase; the government is also committed to implementing other mechanisms to ensure citizens receive sufficient disposable income.