−4,500 scholarship to be awarded this year

The National Assembly on Monday approved $2.256 billion for academic scholarships offered through the Ministry of Public Service.

Defending the sum, Minister, Hon. Sonia Parag told the Committee of Supply considering the 2021 budget estimates that this year, the Government would be awarding 4,500 scholarships to public servants, members of the Disciplinary Forces and two additional categories.

She added that the scholarship will be offered in several fields of studies in keeping with the needs of the country.

“Those areas are still being selected. We have in the diploma, degree in nursing, in different areas that will heavily contribute to Guyana’s human resource,” she said.

In keeping with its manifesto promise, the PPP/C Government would be awarding 20,000 online scholarships to Guyanese to enable their educational and professional advancement within the next five years.

“There is an ongoing process of a needs assessment being conducted in all agencies and based on that, the programmes will be selected…The process is ongoing and it will come to a completion very shortly to enable the rolling out of the 20,000 online scholarships,” Minister Parag said.

The Minister also said the Bertram Collins College of the Public Service would house the secretariat that would administer the online scholarships and this would commence soon. Minister Parag made this statement in response to Opposition Member of Parliament, Hon. Tabitha Sarabo-Halley’s question about plans for the facility.

She added that there would be a revision of the current contract signed by scholarship awardees, in response to a query from the Opposition MP.

“I am happy to inform the public and the Honourable Member that that contract is under review at the moment to be revised to not be harsh on the recipients, and to be able to, in a way, assist the recipients. So, the existing contract will not be used anymore,” Minister Parag said.

The Minister noted that all scholarships being granted would be for the benefit of the nation and those individuals who could not be accommodated in the public sector would serve in the private sector.

Minister Parag said the Government has established a selection committee which will grade and interview persons to ensure the scholarships are equitably distributed across the regions.