Region Nine GOAL applicants, scholars laud initiative
Residents of Karasabai, Annai, Lethem and Aishalton in Region Nine, on Saturday signed up for the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) Scholarship programme during an outreach.
Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag led the outreach, accompanied by staff from GOAL who assisted persons in the application process.
Addressing the issue of internet connectivity, Minister Parag assured residents that a team from the Office of the Prime Minister will visit these areas in February to address the issue.
She explained that the programme is intended to make tertiary education accessible to every Guyanese including those in the hinterland.
“Take the opportunity and I really do hope that you do because it will give you a sense of pride and a sense of dignity because you have earned something and you have learned to do something, and nobody can take that away from you.
“This government will always commit to educating our people and developing our people and the hinterland will never be left behind. We are developing more programmes that are inclusive and will be closing the gaps as it relates to access to the hinterland,” Minister Parag emphasised.
Meanwhile, several applicants lauded the government’s effort to make tertiary education easier for those in the hinterland.
Michael Pio, a Karasabai villager told DPI, “I am happy about this programme. It’s coming to us in South Pakaraimas and we are happy to apply…this will be first time that we are doing online and I do hope that it will upgrade ourselves.”
Annai resident, Cammilia Rampersaud added, “I think it is a good programme for us because going out there (Georgetown) is very hard. I have family at home, I have my children to look after. So, for me to go out there will be difficult. So, it’s very easy for us online.”
Nikita Pauline, a teacher at the Aishalton Secondary School and a GOAL scholar expressed, “I really like it. They’re reaching out to us. It’s cheap for me because every two weeks I have to buy a prime bundle with Digicel but if I have to compare it to going to the actual university, it’s manageable and I like it.”
Over 600 Region Nine residents have already benefitted since the programme was rolled out in 2021.
This is the first phase of the GOAL scholarship programme that is being rolled out in 2023; persons have up to January 29, 2023 to submit their applications.
Meanwhile, the Bachelor’s Degree and GROW programme will come on stream next month.
Government is on track to fulfilling its commitment of delivering 20,000 online scholarships in just over two years, with a budgetary allocation of $1.8 billion in Budget 2023.
This is a collaboration between the Ministries of Education and Public Service to build human capacity to advance and sustain the ongoing transformation.