-Moruca residents hear
THE Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) is likely to begin offering Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) courses from next year. This announcement was made on Saturday during an outreach to Region One (Barima-Waini).
The initiative, spearheaded by Minister of the Public Service, Sonia Parag and Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, commenced at the Santa Rosa Secondary School where persons were briefed on the opportunities that they can capitalise on, as part of the 20,000 online scholarships programme being financed by the Government of Guyana, and offered via six reputable universities across the world.
As the outreach extended to Karaburi Primary School, Minister Parag told the residents that even though connectivity remains a concern in various parts of the country, the GOAL courses do not require constant internet service.
“You just need the internet to download your work materials and then again to upload your work; you don’t need the internet 24/7 to be able to benefit from this initiative,” Parag assured.
She told the residents too that the government is currently working to conduct a comprehensive assessment of Guyana’s telecommunication needs, and that all efforts will be made to address those needs. Minister Parag emphasised the need for every eligible Guyanese to take full advantage of the opportunities to benefit from free, internationally recognised education.
“The first step is to just get registered and apply,” she said. Parag reminded too that even if a person is not awarded a scholarship this year, they still have an opportunity to apply during the course of the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) tenure in office (2020-2025).
“We will be giving out 4,500 scholarships this year alone,” Parag posited. She said that the countrywide scholarship outreaches, headed by ministers of government, is a testament to the equitable manner in which the programme is being rolled out.
“That is why each of you must take advantage of the opportunities that we are bringing to you here today,” Parag noted.
Minister Croal echoed similar sentiments, reiterating that the GOAL programme was conceptualised by President Dr. Irfaan Ali, as a response to the needs of ordinary Guyanese. He reminded residents that the programme offers something for all Guyanese, whether they have certificates from the Caribbean Examinations Council or not.
The Housing Minister reminded residents that the scholarships are a win-win, since they do not result in recipients being indebted to Guyana upon completion of their studies. He said that the government will only be asking for a few weeks of light community service or volunteerism.
“That is all that is required,” Croal emphasised.
At Santa Rosa, pensioner, Francis Eusedio, was preparing to apply for a scholarship to do an ‘Awareness Programme on Dairy Farming for Rural Farmers’ being offered by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) India.
“I really think that this here is a very good plan that the government made to assist Guyanese. It is good for young people and old people too, because look at me, I am applying; I am an ageable person, but briskly moving,” the 74-year-old man said.
Already a farmer, ‘Uncle Francis’ believes that he stands to learn much more from pursuing a more formal education.
Meanwhile, in Karaburi, 39-year-old Claudette Benjamin travelled from her village of Wallaba to learn more about the scholarship programme. “I keep hearing about it, but I didn’t really know what it is about, so I come fuh see,” she confessed.
The woman told the Sunday Chronicle that for many years she has been sewing pieces of clothing for her relatives and friends. She is planning to apply for a scholarship to be properly trained in the area of clothing and textiles.
“If I get through, I think that would be good. It would help me a lot to expand and do a proper business sewing clothes for people,” Benjamin said.
As the Region One outreaches wrapped up at the Waramuri Primary School, a young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, showed up to peruse the courses being offered. They are not entirely set on what they want to do, but they plan to study their options carefully and submit their applications.
The registration period for the GOAL scholarships will close at the end of May, since many of the courses are set to commence in July.