6,000 scholarships awarded under GOAL initiative

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The Ministry of Public Service (PSM) has awarded 6,000 scholarships through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) – a Government of Guyana initiative which seeks to offer Guyanese an opportunity to advance their education through online and distance learning (ODL) mode.

Of this 6,000 awardees – 69% are females while 31% are males.

These awardees will be able to pursue academic studies in 110 disciplines at five international universities, namely: Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), India; JAIN “deemed to be” University, India; University of West Indies (Open Campus); University of Southern Caribbean (Trinidad) and International University of Applied Sciences (IU), Germany.

The 20,000 GOAL scholarship programme was conceptualized by His Excellency, President Dr. Irfaan Ali as part of his commitment to invest in human development through academic advancement.  His Excellency, the Cabinet and the GOAL team take this opportunity to thank all applicants, congratulate the successful scholarship awardees, and wish them success in their studies.

The list of awardees can be found on the GOAL’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GuyanaOnlineAcademyofLearning

The allocation of scholarships for the remaining Regions are as follows:

Of the 6,000 scholarships awarded this year, 1,645 students will be enrolled at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), India; 2,909 students will study at JAIN “Deemed-to-be’ University, India; 217 scholarships to students desirous of pursuing programmes at the University of Southern Caribbean (USC) Trinidad; 176 applicants were qualified to study at the International University of Applied Sciences (IU) in Germany, while 173 students were awarded academic scholarships at the University of the West Indies Open Campus in Barbados and 880 students will study vocational programmes at UWI as well.

Meanwhile, 1,436 applicants, who only have Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects were awarded six-month scholarships at JAIN “deemed-to-be” University. Upon successful completion of this programme, these applicants will be qualified for admissions into bachelor’s degree programmes in Business and Commerce.

The most sought-after programmes in which scholarships were awarded included the following:

  • Certificate in Food and Nutrition (570),
  • Certificate and Motorcycle Service and Repair (134),
  • Bachelor’s degrees in Special Education (179),
  • Post Graduate Diploma in School Leadership and Management for Head Teachers (152) and
  • Master’s degrees in: Psychology (205), Public Policy & Administration (205), Logistics and Chain Supply Management (93), Engineering Management (75) and Health Management (118).

The Ministers of Education (MoE) and Public Service (MoPS) have overall responsibility for the GOAL initiative and the Ministers credited the significant and overwhelming application responses to countrywide outreaches to promote the GOAL online programme.

“Education is key to the development of a nation and this awe-inspiring initiative will bolster the Government’s vision to invest in our human resources,” Hon Priya Manickchand, Minister of MoE stated.

Hon Sonia Parag, Minister of PSM expressed similar sentiments, adding that she was thrilled to be part of innovative exercise designed to facilitate Guyanese “in securing their future through online learning.”

CHALLENGES

GOAL team could not have processed 48% of the applications due to applicants’ failure to fill out mandatory information and submit copies of their qualifications as directed on the Application Forms.

As a result, only 7,619 of the 14,699 applications were vetted during the verification process – a key phase that determines the candidates’ eligibility to the universities of their choice.

Out of the 7,619 – 1,617 did not have the relevant qualifications required for the three options they applied for.

A review of the guyanaonline.org portal that facilitated online submissions revealed that 5,946 applicants registered but did not submit their forms, while approximately 900 applications received were duplicates.

Of the 7,619 applications received, an estimated 2,000 did not include the applicants’ Regions of residence, while approximately 1,100 did not include any email address, and another 700 did not provide any telephone contact information.

However, the GOAL team was able to assist many applicants with creating email addresses, thus enabling a notable number of incomplete applications to be processed.

 GOAL SUPPORT

Currently, the GOAL team is engaging with the awardees to facilitate a seamless registration process with their respective Universities. Classes for the vocational, professional, and educational (CPE) programmes offered by the University of the West Indies (Open Campus) have commenced. The start dates for the other institutions’ semesters will be announced shortly.

“We have Programme Managers assigned to each University that will provide ongoing support to the awardees as they navigate their way through the ODL,” stated Professor Jacob Opadeyi, GOAL’s Director.

The rollout application process for 2022 will be announced shortly.

 

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