Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 04 July 2013 11:27

51 hinterland students complete scholarship programme

Fifty-one students from secondary, tertiary and technical institutions graduated last evening from the Hinterland Scholarship Programme offered by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.The students were awarded for their commitment during a graduation ceremony held at the Amerindian Village at the Sophia Exhibition site.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, expressed satisfaction in the graduates whom she deemed richly endowed with culture and talent, in addition to their academic achievements.
Sukhai cautioned that academic lifelines of past students were restricted due to the lack of support and means within the hinterland communities.
“The horizons are limitless… but the scope for our students is restricted as soon as they return to the villages. This is a concern that we have. For example, many of the various graduates from previous batches have done exceeding well but some did not receive the requisite support to further their academic goals due the usual capacity of the respective villages.”
It is due to this restriction, the Minister said, that many of these youngsters move to seek employment in the mining and forestry sectors. However, while Sukhai pointed out there is nothing wrong with seeking employment in these sectors, she challenged the graduates to aspire to engage in the more formal and institutional aspect of the work.

The Minister prescribed that the paths of gemologists, engineers and rangers are just few areas in which the young graduates can enter at the next phase of their lives.
“There are a number existing opportunities for young people in Guyana. We sometimes do not take the time to notice them or even move towards them.”
Senior Social Worker attached to the Hinterland Programme, Rosamund Daly highlighted the benefits of the programme.
Daly said that this year 122 primary, secondary and tertiary level students benefitted.
“Last year, the students of the programme recorded an 86 per cent pass rate at the Caribbean Secondary School Certification (CSEC) with passes in grades one to three,” Daly said
She noted that in times past, students involved in the programme would be accommodated by a relative or guardian. “However under the new Hinterland Scholarship Programme, a dormitory was constructed at Liliendaal. It is equipped with a library, internet café and large recreational facility complete with the capacity to house all the students under one roof.”
The students represent the 51st batch of graduates to successfully complete the Hinterland Scholarship programme.
The Amerindian Scholarship Programme was introduced in 1962. The first six students were those who had written the Common Entrance Examination and performed creditably.
They were awarded places at Secondary Schools in Georgetown hence scholarships were offered annually to the outstanding performers.
The need for the older students to be trained in Technical, Vocational and Tertiary skills was evident, thus, the number of scholarships awarded annually increased.
In 1966, scholarships were offered to the Government Technical Institute, the Carnegie School of Home Economics and the Guyana School of Agriculture. Scholarships were also offered to hinterland students attending the University of Guyana in1986.

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