Georgetown, Guyana – (November 25, 2017) Permanent Secretary, Department of the Public Service, Ministry of the Presidency, Mr. Reginald Brotherson, this afternoon, told the estimated 409 recipients of 2017/2018 University of Guyana (UG) and Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) scholarships that the Government of Guyana’s investment in their education is a demonstration of its commitment to national development and to transforming Guyana into an “education nation”. Speaking at the orientation exercise, which was hosted in the Library of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), Turkeyen, the Permanent Secretary encouraged the students to see the scholarship as a partnership with the Government, for which their reasonable returns would be to contribute to the prosperity of the nation.

“The Government and people of Guyana; taxpayers, we have invested… a lot of monies and we look forward for the appropriate returns … This investment is a partnership … We want you all to understand the nature of that investment. We want you all to understand that the Department of the Public Service in the Ministry of the Presidency is mandated by policy to ensure that we address the student needs, but in addressing the student needs there is a partnership. It is not we and them, but us,” he said. The Permanent Secretary noted that scholarships incur a cost to the State but Government is committed to investing in education and training because it is convinced of the transformative power of education.

Delivering his feature address, Educationist, Mr. Vincent Alexander said that having been the recipient of several Government of Guyana scholarships, he is a testimony of what a scholarship can produce. He said that the ceremony has made him nostalgic and it brings to mind the purpose for which scholarships are granted, for personal development and for nation-building.

Speaking on the topic “The Importance of Education” Mr. Alexander said that “Education is not simply about being certified. Education is not simply about saying that you’re qualified. Education is not simply about getting a good job and a good salary. It’s far more than that… When you get to post-secondary education and tertiary education, it is no longer merely remembering, it’s about being able to apply the information which you acquire, being able to do analysis, being able to do evaluation, being able to synthesise and so you are now in another phase of your own growth and development”.

Meanwhile, scholarship awardee, Mr. Meshach Atkinson, who will be pursuing a Diploma in Communication Studies at the University of Guyana said,” I think this is a great opportunity for me and I plan to make the most of it”. Past recipients of the programme, Ms. Roshana White, who completed a Diploma in Animal Health and Veterinary Public Health at the GSA; Mr. Jenarine Hardat, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Science and Ms. Alphia Moore, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education, both of the latter two from UG, all expressed gratitude to the Ministry for their scholarships.

“While my University of Guyana experiences [were] met with its fair share of challenges, the scholarship was able to relieve much of my financial burden as well as provide the continuation of employment in Early Childhood Development within the Public Sector. This was an excellent opportunity to pursue my passion, further build on my purpose and add value to the school system at the La Grange Nursery School,” Ms. Moore said.

Last year, the Ministry awarded about 310 scholarships, although only a small percentage of those recipients pursued studies at the GSA. The Ministry also offers grants to students pursuing studies at the Carnegie School of Home Economics and The Burrowes School of Art, among other institutions.

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