-so residents can access GOAL scholarships
First Lady, Mrs. Arya Ali on Monday committed to ensuring that residents of Mibicuri and Yakusari, Black Bush Polder, Corentyne get access to quality internet service to begin online studies in July.
The First Lady led a team including Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand and Minister of Public Service, Hon. Sonia Parag to the communities to launch the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) programme, through which some 20,000 online scholarships will be available over the next five years.
Persons turned up in their numbers at the Black Bush Secondary and Yakusari Primary schools to find out how they could capitalise on the Government’s free training programmes.
During her interaction with them, Mrs. Ali informed residents that arrangements have already been made with internet service provider E-Networks to conduct assessments to remedy the poor internet service in the areas.
In an invited comment, the First Lady told DPI that she hopes to receive feedback on the situation next week.
“There is a village called Yakusari that exists. Now that we are here, we would have heard quite a few concerns, one of which is accessibility to gadgets to learning devices.
We would have had, and made, a list of contact information of persons who desire one of those gadgets, and as soon as we have them readily available, we would try to make some sort of visit again, so we can come and deliver,” she said.
To meet some of the commitments, the First Lady said her office would be reaching out to various sponsors and donors for assistance.
The 20,000 online scholarship programme is a promise delivered by the PPP/C Government. This year, some 4,500 students would be engaged in online studies in various subjects from the certificate to PhD levels.
Meanwhile, several applicants heaped praises on the Government for what they said is a “grand initiative” for citizens.
Headteacher of the Mibicuri Primary School, Ms. Michelle Liu, has applied for the Master’s in Psychology and Public Policy and Public Management programmes.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity. It is a golden opportunity, and we should make full use of it because it caters for us. One should take this golden opportunity.
I think those programmes would help in our schools today. Coping in this time with the pandemic is very difficult, and the emotional issues too. Our society needs a lot of attention,” she told DPI.
Ms. Liu encouraged other teachers to access the programme, which she said, if taken, will see an ease “on their pockets.”
Community Health Worker (CHW) Mr. Andrew Brickharry has been serving his community for three years. The 27-year-old said he is grateful that the online programme was brought to his community.
“Because we have, over the past years, we have been facing a number of challenges, especially in the area of education. We are living in this far community, and it is hard for us to get out to access a better quality education.
So, I think it is a great opportunity for us as youths of Black Bush Polder and throughout the country at large.”
Mr. Brickharry is considering applying for the Bachelor of Science in Hospitality ad Hotel Administration programme.
Mr. Billy LaBennet, a teacher, travelled from New Amsterdam to hear more about the programme. He said he was interested in the Master’s of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Security programme.
“I think it amazing that they have taken this initiative and listened to the cries of the people by supplying the availability of scholarships across the country, in which people can apply. I think that is truly amazing,” he said.
The online programme will be offered by the University of the West Indies Open Campus, the University of the Southern Caribbean, the International University of Applied Sciences, the Indira Gandhi National Open University and the JAIN University.