― to attend the University of Guyana

Forty-nine indigenous youths who will be attending the University of Guyana (UG) during the new academic year in September 2018, have received full scholarships.

This was facilitated through a collaboration between The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and Public Service Department.

During a recent visit to the village of Kato in Region Eight, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock explained that in 2018, a total of 67 students from several villages in the hinterland regions applied and were accepted into the UG. Of this amount, 49 were granted full scholarships, while the others due to unforeseen circumstances did not follow through.

The Minster was at the time addressing the Regional Development Conference in Kato.

According to Minister Allicock, the students will be housed at the soon-to-be-commissioned $186Million Hinterland Student Dormitory located in Liliendaal. The 16-apartment complex will accommodate some 120 persons attending the Government Technical Institute (GTI), Carnegie School of Home Economics, the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) the Guyana Industrial Technical Centre (GITC) and the University of Guyana.

This scholarship is in addition to the hundreds of grants the government provides yearly to hinterland students who excel at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGAS). Those students who are awarded schools in Georgetown are housed at the Hinterland Students Dormitory, while those awarded schools in their respective regions are housed at the respective school’s dormitory.

“We provide accommodation, allowances for guardians, purchase books and uniforms. So, we have full support for young people, and we are very happy to say that over the last two years there has been an 83 percent pass rate at the hinterland dorms which is very encouraging…These young people attained five or more subjects at CSEC and are applying for tertiary education,” Minister Allicock explained.

Additionally, the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) programme provided training for 4000 hinterland youths and would lead to the creation of almost 2000 small businesses. Some of the youths opted to further their studies at higher institutes of learning on the coast.

“HEYS is not going to interfere with the mainstream education programme, as a matter of fact, the intention is to support the education programme… the idea is to give young people an opportunity to play a more meaningful role in their community. Minister Allicock told the village leaders. He added, “some of the businesses are doing well and communities have been calling for this initiative to continue. They have even requested an adult programme.”

The students under this one-year programme received a $30,000 stipend each month. Minister Allicock explained, “So, for example, if we have 20 students from each community, each month there will be $600,000 going back into that community and about $7Million per year.”

He added that this year, some $100M has been set aside to further support those successful businesses created under the HEYS programme. These initiatives are part of the Coalition Government’s efforts to ensure equal access to education to students regardless of their location.