Significant number of hinterland residents benefitted from GOAL scholarship last year
Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag said 6, 000 residents from across Guyana have benefitted from the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarship programme, in 2021, with a substantial amount allocated to residents of hinterland regions.
The minister was speaking to village leaders and other officials at the National Toshaos Council (NTC), on Wednesday.
Since the launch of GOAL, 238 persons from Region One, 240 from Region Seven, 97 from Region Eight and 230 from Region Nine have thus far benefitted.
Additionally, GOAL is designed to fill the gaps in hinterland regions, where persons are unable to gain a skill set, and access proper employment opportunities.
The programme which was rolled out in 2021, is the brainchild of President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, and seeks to provide 20, 000 online scholarships within a five-year period.
GOAL allows citizens in riverine and remote areas to gain higher academic education while earning an income right in their communities. Persons can pursue a certificate, diploma, degree or master’s programme in sectors including oil and gas, agriculture, health and information technology.
Minister Parag noted that, “it is also something of convenience, where you can sit at home, and be able to gain a certificate in welding or motorcycle repair.”
This year, the ministry is expected to roll out an additional 8, 000 online scholarships.
Government has made available the sum of $1.3 billion to continue and extend GOAL.
Since its launch, government has conducted outreaches across the regions to ensure that every citizen is given the opportunity to apply.
The public service minister noted that prior to 2020, the indigenous people in Regions Seven, Eight and Nine were not given the opportunity to further their education, however, under the current administration, every citizen will have the chance to do so.
Further, she explained that the government is working assiduously to ensure Guyanese have access to better educational, and training opportunities.
“Public service is to manage the employment and improvement of human resource. Human capital is our most valuable resources in this country,” Minister Parag said.