Another 4,500 students are expected to benefit from online scholarships as a sum of $1.3 billion was approved for the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) in Budget 2022.
This sum forms part of the wider $2.8 billion allocation approved for the provision of training, including government scholarships, Minister of Public Service Sonia Parag said during the consideration of the budget estimates on Monday night.
When asked for a breakdown of the $2.8 billion by Opposition Parliamentarian Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, Parag noted that $15 million has been allocated towards the Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT).
This Centre facilitates advanced level classroom training for public sector Information and communications technology (ICT) professionals at the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen Campus.
Local training also accounts for $20 million.
Further, of the $2.8 billion, Government of Guyana scholarships, including local continuing scholarships total $298 million while continuing international scholarships cost $407 million.
A sum of $567 million was approved for new international scholarships with another $50 million approved for the provision of other costs including care packages for students.
Importantly, Parag also pointed out that the $1.3 billion budget approved for the GOAL programmes covers all collaborations with any institutions outside of Guyana. But, she clarified that no administrative costs are being paid- only tuition fees.
In 2021, when GOAL was first launched, a total of 6,000 online scholarships were offered. In 2022, another 4,500 scholarships will be provided, while some 2,726 continuing students will be catered for.