First Lady of Guyana, H. E. Sandra Granger, on Tuesday, April 23, launched the first ever Information Communication Technology Training course, a Ministry of Social Protection’s Board of Institution workshop, to better prepare students of the Bina Hill Institute Youth Learning Centre, (YLC) Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region 9, for the growing world of technology.
The program, in collaboration with the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Social Protection for Youth Development, was a welcomed initiative for the predominately indigenous peoples community, that Granger has worked assiduously to educate.
Granger said she was happy and honored to be blazing a trail in that, for the first time, students of the remote Rupununi village, will receive nationally recognized certification.
As such, she said it is vitally important that students pay attention to what will be taught during the three-week program, and urged the 34 in attendance to absorb the knowledge of technology, that will lead to employment opportunities.
“I always say, I don’t want to conduct a workshop where people get a piece of paper and put it in a drawer. The workshop must lead to development for people who take part in it, young people like yourselves, and older people, who take part in childcare and senior care workshops,” noted Granger.
“I look at how technology is developing, and encroaching on our lives. It is estimated by 2050, half of our jobs would be done by robots,” said Granger, adding, “We need to start thinking how we will fit into the scheme of things, ensuring we are not left just catching up, but staying in front of programming, fixing computers, and looking to drone technology for our crops and agricultural projects, and using robots in medicine,” while, noting the importance of digitizing records for safe keeping.
Granger encouraged the students to make use of the skills that could be offered and better used to help their communities. She thanked those who have supported her initiative, stating that her office does not receive funding, and promised Dr. Laureen Pierre, principal of the (YLC), to seek outside donations, some that could possibly come from the diaspora, where citizens would be willing to give laptops to the institution.
ICT instructor, Fitzroy Younge, thanked Granger for making the workshop available to the most vulnerable group in the community- adolescence, stating that the FL believes that ICT fosters poverty alleviation, as it is the new frontier of change.
Adding that the immense potential of ICT can never be over emphasized, and Granger, through her initiative, has demonstrated that IT will never be restrained from reaching communities such as Anni.
Dr. Pierre said the launching of the program was a new beginning for YFC and thanked the first lady for moving the institute forward.
“We will see how our students are responding to new methodology, new strategies, and assessment, and we didn’t have to leave here, it came to us. This government has provided a lot of support to this institution and we are grateful,” said Dr. Pierre, who noted the challenges YFC face, because of limited laptops, but encouraged students to work hard to prepare themselves for the workplace.
The program, that will include STEM Robotics and Microenterprise, as well as a Sexual & Reproductive Health session, shows how committed the region is to education said, Regional Executive Officer, Carl Parker. He said learning is very vital, and told students, they should not waste the opportunity to learn about technology, noting, that the region had spent $50 million on education over the years, a clear demonstration of the region’s commitment to education.
Instructor, Oveanne Manswell, also inspired participants to learn, and ask questions where necessary, so that they could effectively benefit from the program.
Ms. Emily Allicock, administration manager, rendered a universal prayer, while student Gaymond Edwards gave the vote of thanks.