Guyanese have been promised 20,000 online scholarships by 2025 but Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo says that if more people are interested, the government will fund their tertiary education.
He said this while engaging some of the recipients of the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) in Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) on Sunday at the Watooka Guest House in Linden.
There, Jagdeo emphasised that more Guyanese must become skilled to benefit from Guyana’s rapidly transforming economy.
Without becoming skilled, he warned that a majority of Guyanese may only be able to provide menial services and unskilled labour. And to counter this, he emphasised that the government was rolling out the GOAL programme countrywide.
The provision of 20,000 online scholarships, being rolled out through GOAL, alongside free tertiary education at the University of Guyana (UG) were manifesto promises of the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) ahead of the 2020 General and Regional elections.
The Vice President, however, said that the 20,000 scholarships promised is not a fixed sum.
“If we find 40,000 Guyanese, we will pay for all of them.
“We just want all our people to be educated,” he told the gathering of students.
But some of the students raised concerns about poor internet connectivity and electricity woes. These concerns, some students said, challenged their ability to effectively engage in their online schooling.
Other students noted that they do not have the electronic devices, like laptops, to engage in online learning.
Responding to their concerns, the Vice President noted that centres have been identified for students to use as hubs to sit their examinations. Beyond that, however, he said that the government will endeavour to provide laptops to students in need.
“… those who cannot afford a computer, they should not be excluded from the programme,” the Vice President emphasised.