The first phase of the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarship programme for 2023 was launched on Saturday at Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni – Mazaruni).
The programme was launched by Minister of Public Service Sonia Parag and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira at the St John the Baptist Primary School.
During the first phase of the GOAL scholarship programme, certificate courses will be offered which require minimum or in some cases no prerequisite qualifications to enroll.
Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, at the launch of the programme in Bartica (Photo: DPI/January 7, 2022)
The certificate programmes offer more technical areas of study and will not only help to qualify more persons within the hinterland region to seek employment but will also allow them to develop skills to apply within their communities.
Areas of study include Banking, Financial Services and Insurance, Digital Marketing and E-Commerce, Joinery & Cabinet Making, Garment Construction, Photography, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Event Planning, Healthcare, Agricultural Technology, among others.
Parag noted that the programme aims to narrow the gap of inequality in terms of access to higher education and Region Seven was chosen to launch the 2023 programme due to a low enrollment rate for last year within the region.
Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Minister, Gail Teixeira at the launch of the programme in Bartica (Photo: DPI/January 7, 2022)
She reminded that persons who pursue the GOAL scholarship programme are not contractually obligated to the government to serve within the public sector. However, they are required to do community service.
“This programme you will not find anywhere else. Guyanese are being offered it at the cost of the government, not because we want to do you a favour but because you deserve it … and obviously we want to be able to have our people move from one level to the next in terms of development,” she said.
Teixeira stressed that with the development Guyana is undergoing, there are lots of opportunities, and therefore, the GOAL programme is to ensure that all Guyanese are equipped with necessary skills and are qualified to get jobs.
“Bartica will become a main centre of activity, you are the gateway to the interior and so a lot of jobs and businesses will be created here over the next couple of years and you need to be prepared. Get your education, get your certificates,” she said.