“Use this new beginning” – Pres Ali to 1712 GOAL graduating students

…as valedictorian calls on naysayers to find success in GOAL also

President Dr Irfaan Ali

The 1712 graduates of the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) programme, funded by the Government, should view this opportunity gained in their lives as a new beginning, marking a fresh start in their academic and lifelong journey.
Those were the remarks of President Dr Irfaan Ali during the recent GOAL graduation, where he emphasised that the hard work students have undertaken serves as a stepping stone towards their future goals.
According to the Head of State, persons must keep this ideology in mind while also knowing that they are in charge of the trajectory of their lives.
“Today you are in a better place to shift what will drive your future, this shift can either be a positive mindset that will drive your future or the experiences of the past that you will allow you to limit yourself; whether today, in this moment of pride, you make a decision that you will change your life now, that’s not my decision, that is your universe to decide,” he stated.

GOAL’s 2024 Valedictorian, Rohani Beeram

He further pointed out to the graduates that their long-lost dreams that they thought were so far away have now become their reality.
“Your dreams and goals are no longer dreams and goals, they are now your results. Your goals and aspirations are now no longer goals and aspirations, you are now champions of your own stories. You will decide today whether your story will stop here today or if your story will move on to part two,” the Head of State encouraged the graduates.
Additionally, he urged the graduates to see this opportunity as a new beginning, highlighting the Government’s significant investment in the project to improve the nation as a whole. He emphasised that the only way to stay ahead of ongoing competition that will be happening, as various persons from around the world would like to spread their wings in Guyana is by continuing their academic efforts.
“Your Government is ensuring that you remain competitive not only for today, but long into the future and much more than that, the Government that is incentivising, your Government has invested over 1.5 billion dollars in over the course of the past two years, the only way to stay above the curve is to do what you are doing right now,” the Head of State said.

Do not listen to naysayers
Meanwhile, the valedictorian, Rohanie Beeram, echoed President Ali’s sentiments, stating that she had faced rough waters but had overcome them.
According to Beeram, two years ago, she embarked on the journey with a shared goal, eagerly awaiting the day it would come to an end. She also stated that various persons would have tried to shatter her spirit and the other graduates’ while they were studying.
“Many people tried to break our spirits with their negativity and doubts, but we made it despite all the challenges thrown our way thanks to the unwavering support of our loved ones,” Beeram shared.
Highlighting a crucial point in her life when her beloved mother passed away mere months ago, she relayed that it has been one of great loss, but she knows her mother will always be with her just as how her degree will always be with her.
“She always had that faith in me and believed I’d be standing here today even before I did. All I wanted to do was run and show it to her, because seeing that was a bittersweet moment for me, just like standing here is right now.”
She added, “Even though she’s not physically here with me today and is probably rocking away somewhere in heaven, she will always be in my heart and her teaching will always stay with me, just like this master’s degree.”
Meanwhile, the young valedictorian had a message for the persons who would have discouraged her in her journey where she wished that they themselves would partake in the GOAL programme.
“To those who doubted us and said, ‘oh, it’s just a piece of paper’ and fuelled your negativity our way. I hope success finds you one day as well, because if we can do it, so can you,” Beeram confidently stated.
Seventeen hundred and twelve students ranging from young adults, single parents, mothers and fathers have graduated from the GOAL initiative that the Government has invested billions of dollars in since 2021 when the programme was launched. In the 2024 Budget, some $4 billion was allocated to the initiative. (G2)