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Scholarship application service to be offered online next year

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The Department of Public Service has committed to developing an online application process for National Scholarships by 2018.

According to the Ministry of the Presidency under which the Department falls, this initiative is running parallel to the Department’s efforts of improve the process and ensure public accountability and transparency.

Head of the Public Service and Permanent Secretary of the Department of Public Service, Mr. Reginald Brotherson, said “almost a record number of scholarships are being offered because of the floodgate that was opened, both at the University of Guyana which has 83 percent of the scholarships offered locally, and the rest to the Guyana School of Agriculture.”

The Department is currently supporting 186 students studying abroad and another 705 who are pursuing studies locally.

The local scholarship packages cover all costs along with travel and books. While overseas-based awardees have their tuitions and airfares paid for by the host country in most cases, the Government of Guyana also provides some allowances and also handles emergency travel back to Guyana.

For the year 2016, over 350 students were supported at tertiary institutions across the country as the Government sought to increase the number of scholarships available to young people to pursue their Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) Degrees.

As the country pursues a ‘green agenda’ and with the potential for a booming oil and gas industry, Mr. Brotherson said that the Government will also give special consideration to applications, which are made for studies in the environmental sciences, oil and gas development or any other related fields.

All applicants, upon completing the education programmes, will be provided with jobs, a binding agreement offered by the government, encouraging them to serve their country for a period of three to five years. However, if the applicant wishes to end the contract which has been signed with the Government of Guyana, Mr. Brotherson explained that the cost of the training along with a 12 percent interest would have to be repaid.

One of the challenges in the awarding or successful processing of scholarships, Mr. Brotherson said, is the lethargic approach by some of the applicants with regard to deadlines. Mr. Brotherson stressed that it is important that deadlines are met, particularly for overseas-based scholarships since there are many other processes, which has to be completed before being approved.

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