The 20,000 online scholarships, as promised by the Dr Irfaan Ali led Government, is intended to give Guyanese the opportunity to improve their skills so as to better position themselves in the oil and gas industry, according to Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo.
“We have 4500 scholarships being offered this year. We will take resources to pay for the certification of Guyanese in many areas, so that they can be easily trained; to conduct or to bring the people in to conduct classes where they improve the skills of Guyanese, but in a very practical way, to deal with the industry,” Jagdeo said during an interview with a social media commentator on Sunday.
He added that the training of Guyanese for the petroleum sector is high on the Government’s agenda.
During a recent meeting between the Government and ExxonMobil, the VP said discussions were held on the need for the oil company to establish training facilities in Guyana. This, he said, will represent Government’s commitment to ensure Guyanese are prepared for the sector.
Jagdeo also spoke of an “indigenisation plan,” which will help locals get petroleum-related jobs, currently dominated by foreigners.
“We hope that a lot of the jobs that are being created by the oil companies now – where they have to recruit foreigners – that over time, once Guyanese have the comparable skills, that they will replace those individuals,” he said.
The online scholarship initiative is a PPP/C 2020 election manifesto promise to provide some 20,000 scholarships to Guyanese over the next five years.
Guyanese can apply to pursue studies in over 80 programmes being offered through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL), from five internationally-acclaimed universities. They are the University of the West Indies Open Campus, the University of the Southern Caribbean, the University of Applied Sciences, the Indira Gandhi National Open University and the JAIN “Deemed To Be” University.
Programmes are offered from the Certificate to PhD levels.
Application forms are available on the Ministry of Education’s website at www.education.gov.gy.
The GOAL website will be launched this week to facilitate the submission of digital applications.