Five awarded UG scholarships - by Zara group of companies

28th August, 2017 0 comments

Five persons on Friday were awarded scholarships from US based Zara Group of Companies as it launched its first scholarship programme. The grant covers tuition fees for four years at the University of Guyana (UG), Turkeyen and Tain campus. The awardees are Jamal Joseph Austin who will major in Geological Engineering, Jaya Devi Deonarine in Optometry, Javin Harris in Computer Science, Hester Hernandez in Chemistry and Denise Mona Saul who read for a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.

The scholarship programme is a collaborative effort between Zara Group of Companies and Guyana Police Force (GPF). In brief remarks, at GPF Zara Computer Training Centre, Eve Leary, Senior Vice President, Zara Group of Companies Jay Sobhraj congratulated the awardees for making their families and country proud in attaining the scholarships. “We look forward to seeing you through the four years, provided that you maintain your academic standards,” Sobhraj noted.

Information Technology (IT) Consultant Nardeo Singh explained that the creation of the scholarship programme is the company’s way of allowing the young people to make a difference in Guyana. In addition to its ongoing Information Technology training programme, he noted that the scholarship is also in keeping with the agency’s commitment to its corporate social responsibilities. “We are in New York, we cannot do it, and we are too far from doing it. You (young people) have to invest in yourself and you have to invest in your country we (Zara group of companies) are here to just help you along the path,” Singh said.

It was highlighted that this scholarship programme between GPF and Zara Group of Companies is a five-year partnership that requires the students maintain a point average (GPA) of 3.0. U.G Deputy Vice Chancellor, Turkeyen Campus Michael Scott ,responsible for Academic Engagement, commended the founders for their contributions to the young people, noting that the opportunity provided to the awardees will benefit them greatly and they should consider themselves fortunate since they will assist in the country’s development.

“On behalf of our university which will have the benefit of having access to these young minds to be part of that institution because that is the contribution you are making, we are having yet another field to reap from so therefore this is another opportunity for us to be able to access excellent students to our institution,” Scott noted. Hester Hernandez who is from Lethem, Region Nine told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that he is fortunate to have been granted the scholarship because he had applied to several tertiary institutions in an effort to improve himself academically.

“I know I am meant to do well, as well to make the company proud … and I intend to use my education to assist my community because I was a teacher for two years so when I finish (the course) I will return to teach (St. Ignatius Secondary School),” Hernandez said. Denise Mona Saul is grateful for the opportunity to begin her studies, since the scholarship will remove the question of student loans while she continues to work.

Additionally, 522 young people today, graduated from the Guyana Police Force Zara Computer Centre. There were participants from the Ministries of Public Security, Infrastructure, Finance, Education, Agriculture, and Health among others. In her overview of the ICT training, Information Technology Trainer, Corporal Andries Smith, revealed that of 21 programmes that were successfully completed, included eight adult courses comprising of four foundation programmes, one advanced and Personal Computer (PC) repair and maintenance programme, six Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) Electronic Data Preparation and Management (EDPM) and Information Technology (IT) programme, four Summer programmes – two of which are from the C-Division Community Policing Outreach programme and five Police programmes.

Smith added that Electronic Data Preparation and Management (EDPM) received five distinctions, 15 Grade Ones, six Grade Twos and one Grade Three, while IT received seven Grade Twos and six Grade Threes. She noted that for the remaining of 2017, there will be continued emphasis on the training programme with a vision to surpass 2016 figures.

“We intend to train two additional adult programmes, one young foundation programme, one advance and one PC repair and maintenance programme which will give us an estimated 107 participants taking our total to 629 persons for 2017,” Smith explained. Acting Police Force Training Officer, Assistant Commander Maxine Graham encouraged the graduates to strive to build on the foundation received during their training, noting that technology is important and integral part of society. “I urge you (graduates) to value the importance of the use of computer and the use of technology because computer literature make you marketable and an asset to any organization,” Graham noted.

Over the past five years, Zara Group of Companies has trained over 10,388 young people since the launch of the IT training programmes. The company established some 35 years ago, by a Guyanese family was mainly involved in real estate business and managing apartment buildings. Today, the company has collaborated with several organisations including the Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG) and the Guyana Police Force, in all three counties.

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