“The greatest gift you can give to yourself and to others is your time” – President Ali tells GROW graduating batch

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Tuesday reminded graduates of the Get Ready for Opportunities to Work (GROW) programme that they are one step closer to achieving their dreams, and more importantly, to becoming better individuals.

The graduation ceremony for the 2021/2022 batch was hosted at the National Cultural Centre, Georgetown.

President Ali, who delivered the feature address expressed, “A few days ago, I said that the greatest gift you can give to yourself and to others is your time…Time moves rapidly. But the mark we leave, and the time that we spend here on earth is what determines how successfully we utilise that time. Today, you have utilised that time to make yourselves better and make your families proud, but more importantly, to give yourselves a chance for a better future.”

President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali speaking at the GROW graduation

He assured the graduates that the government is committed to giving every Guyanese the opportunity to improve their lives.

“Education is that tool that can unlock for you a future that would be able to deliver for you greater prospects. But more importantly, one that will deliver to our communities… and our country, better, more responsible citizens, who are better equipped to serve our country… and fulfill the responsibilities to our nation. Education is an uplifting tool.”

Meanwhile, in the areas of teaching, hospitality and nursing, President Ali announced that over 1,400 persons will benefit from immediate jobs. Specifically, for those who want to pursue nursing, the president said they can be registered by the end of this month.

He further disclosed that the government, through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) is drawing closer to its 20,000 scholarships objective.

Some of the graduates

So far, more than 16,000 scholarships have been granted, with some 11,000 women benefitting.

“This is good for our country. The days in our country when we had idle human capacity are fast coming to an end, and that is because of the opportunities that we are able to create,” Dr Ali expressed.

Dr. Ali also encouraged the graduating batch to consider careers in technical areas, noting that there is dignity in every job.

“In the developed world, you see persons with Master’s degrees, operating heavy-duty equipment. There is dignity in every form of work… With the six months of experience you have, and another six months of technical training, you can be a technically skilled person operating heavy-duty equipment, or a crane, earning three and four times that which you would have earned pursuing a job in a bank.”

Government continues to invest heavily in education and the upskilling of Guyanese.

The graduation saw some 1,450 participants attain level six Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) diplomas offered by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) in collaboration with Jain University, India.

The GROW programme offered through GOAL provides Guyanese 18 years and older, who never had the opportunity to complete their secondary education, or obtained less than five passes in CSEC/GCE subjects, the opportunity to become better qualified to pursue degree programmes.

Students from the 10 administrative regions qualified in areas such as Communications, Business, Mathematics with Excel, Behavioural Management, Marketing, Introductory Economics, and International Relations.