THE economic growth of a country is a powerful tool in reducing poverty and improving the quality of life in developing countries such as Guyana. Over the years, research has shown that in achieving millennium goals that go beyond poverty, a well sustained economy is crucial.
Economic growth in an economy stems mainly from job creation and job opportunities. The skills, knowledge and intellect that one has to provide goods or services to meet demands locally or internationally are what constitute job creation. In keeping with the national development plan of Guyana, many opportunities are being provided by the government for investors and entrepreneurs to expand business operations within the country, especially with the growth of the oil-and-gas sector, which introduced many spin-off effects for other sectors. Intellectual minds are therefore crucial the development of Guyana. While Guyana is notorious for its immeasurable natural resources, properly educated human resources are needed for sustainable utilisation and cultivation of these resources. Proper management of these resources is pertinent not only for sustainability, but also for long-term economic benefits.
The Government of Guyana budgeted in 2021 to distribute 20,000 scholarships throughout the country for youths, especially to have the opportunity to further their studies in their preferred fields of interest. The government is working towards sustaining the resources of the country in the long-term, and as such, is putting measures in place to educate tomorrow’s leaders. Therefore, young professionals should refrain from the idea of receiving a better life abroad and remain/return in/to Guyana to contribute their skills in enhancing economic development. The young minds need to contribute to Guyana’s history in developing the country’s resources in innovative ways and assist Guyana in adapting to the changes of the future and help the country to compete on a global scale. Guyanese in the diaspora also need to return to contribute their skills and expertise in developing Guyana, as opportunities are being created for them in all sectors in which they may have interest, which can be accessed on the Go-invest website. Incentives are also being provided to assist investors. There is an upcoming conference for the diaspora, in which further plans will be discussed.
The world’s competitive nature will also keep increasing as innovative minds around the globe will generate ideas that will make life easier in ways for all, which will be costly. As such, these innovative ideas are needed to sync with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which means that our traditional methods of operations will eventually become redundant, as the costs will not be economically viable and the country can return to the state it was decades ago which we cannot allow. Therefore, we have to prepare ourselves now to adapt to those changes that will be unfolded in the future or we will not be able to become a developed country. Guyana has to be able to become self-sustainable and provide a better future for tomorrow’s leaders. For 2021, the government budgeted $60.7 billion (representing a 175.9 per cent increase from 2019), has introduced many initiatives to not only improve the quality and access of education, but also to expand the curriculum and making education more affordable for all, inclusive of the tertiary level. In spite of the numerous challenges faced as a result of the pandemic, persons are still being afforded the opportunity to continue their studies online. This initiative, though it has its challenges for some, creates an opportunity to adopt to a new forum of education, whereby they will be able to learn more in a convenient way.
One initiative implemented thus far was the introduction of smart classrooms. As the world is becoming technologically advanced and focused, it is about time the younger generation be a part of this opportunity, so that they can cultivate and generate the necessary skills and knowledge in this arena.
The Guyana Leaning Channel is also being upgraded so as to improve the quality of education it offers. Additionally, more channels and programmes are expected to be implemented alone, with a radio station that will also assist in covering a wider scope of the country, especially the hinterland regions. Scholarships are also being offered by the government for persons to pursue diplomas, degrees and masters in their specialised field of interest. It can be seen that the government is creating opportunities to provide youths with the ability to improve their academic careers, along with improving their knowledge on managing resources, making them better equipped in contributing to the development of the country. These innovative minds being a part of the development process of Guyana is bound to boost growth in Guyana’s economy, as businesses will be opened to provide top-notch goods and services locally and internationally, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the human resources are needed to have the country back on track in improving economic development of the country.