The President of Guyana, David Granger said that revenues from the petroleum sector along with free tertiary education will allow for a“brain gain” rather than “brain drain.” He made this point during an interview on the 94.1’s “Hot Seat” radio show.

Brain drain is the situation in which large numbers of educated and very skilled people leave their own country to live and work in another one where pay and conditions are better.

According to the Head of State, qualified Guyanese are already making their way back home. He added that there is no doubt, too, that the economic changes already taking place because of the oil sector, will cause a reverse of the brain drain experienced in the past.

“I don’t have a choice, but to give free education to allow my government to train scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians to develop this country and the best way to do that is by giving them free education. People will be able to get better-paying jobs right here in Guyana. Guyana is the fastest developing country in the English-speaking Caribbean. I am not afraid of free education. It is something that is enshrined in the constitution. It’s not an invention, it is embedded in the constitution,” he said.

Indeed, Article 27 of the Constitution of Guyana states: “Every citizen has the right to a free education from nursery to university, as well as at non-formal places where opportunities are provided for education and training.”

President Granger said the government will ensure that everyone enjoys the full benefits of nursery, primary and secondary education. He noted that the provision of free education existed in Guyana for more than 40 years before the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) took office in 1992.

Now in opposition, the party has never denied this assertion, but noted that Guyana was on dire economic straits, thus the discontinuation.

Apart from promising free education, the president has upped the ante.
He said that graduates currently paying off their student loans to the University of Guyana (UG) can look forward to an amnesty in his new government.

The Head of State said while the repayment of loans is a legal obligation, his cabinet will soon deliberate on the proposal.

“Some paper will be brought before the cabinet to grant an amnesty so that they will enjoy the benefits of free education so that they will not have to pay the money for which they are indebted. This project that we are embarking on depends on the flow of revenue from the petroleum industry,” he said.


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