Govt spends millions on full scholarships for Ministers, friends

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Government has been secretly expending millions of dollars for several of its ministers to benefit from full-scholarship programmes.

Junior Education Minister Nicolette Henry and Junior Infrastructure Minister Annette Ferguson are among those who received millions of dollars to pursue their studies in the United States and the United Kingdom respectively.

Junior Education Minister Nicolette Henry

Junior Education Minister Nicolette Henry

Henry is doing her PHD in Public Health to the tune of $3.36 million, while Ferguson is benefiting from a $3.38 million scholarship in Public Policy Management.

Additionally, Education Minister Dr Rupert Roopnaraine’s daughter, Alicia, is benefiting from a $2.58 million scholarship at a university in the UK. She is studying psychology.

Other notable beneficiaries are former Chief Education Officer Olato Sam who is studying Education Policy in Jamaica, costing some $946,000 and a Guyana Chronicle Board Director Tabitha Sarabo-Halley who is currently pursuing Public Policy Management studies in the UK to the tune of $3.4 million.

CSEC top student Elisa Hamilton is also a beneficiary of the government scholarships programme, but unlike the others, hers’ was publicly announced.

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Junior Minister Annette Ferguson

Questions are being raised regarding the process used to select the beneficiaries of the programme and why Government did not, in the interest transparency, disclose that it is funding the studies of some of its ministers.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon had disclosed to the National Assembly that Government has provided full scholarships to nine persons at the PHD Level, 75 at the Masters Level, 186 at the Bachelors Level, and 704 at various local institutions.

On Wednesday evening, in response to a requested made by Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, Harmon submitted a list of names of all the persons benefiting from the government scholarships. (Guyana Times)

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