Essequibo ICT Hubs Transforming Lives

THE Government of Guyana is constantly seeking to develop both human and infrastructural capabilities throughout the country. Even as this is being done, the Ministry of Public Telecommunications through the National Data Management Authority (NDMA) has been working to establish ICT Hubs across the length and breadth of Guyana.

Anup Singh from Affiance Hub at his computer
Anup Singh from Affiance Hub at his computer

These Hubs, serving as a lens through which we can have a glimpse of the near future, have undoubtedly proven to transform the lives of thousands of Guyanese, and Region Two (Pomeroon- Supenaam) has been no exception.

One of such established Hubs is located at Affiance village and Chairman of the Hub, Humace Odit, has commended the efforts of the NDMA and the Ministry of Public Telecommunications for the initiative, which he attests have transformed the lives of many, especially the youths. Odit said that he is particularly satisfied with the villagers’ approach toward the project, explaining that daily, persons flock the Hub to access available Government services, as well as to do research free of cost- something that is truly welcomed by the community.

Chairman of the Affiance Hub Humace Odit at a computer
Chairman of the Affiance Hub Humace Odit at a computer

“Persons come here daily to use the devices with the WIFI- schoolchildren are using the opportunity to do research, elders who are not computer literate are being taught to use the computers. This initiative has advanced the village of Affiance and we are proud of this project,” Odit said.

He added that at the moment the Hub is equipped with 14 internet-ready laptops and classes are facilitated by knowledgeable persons from within the community. He also added that they are anxious to be part of further training opportunities that will be provided by the NDMA.

‘AFFIANCE RESIDENTS’ LIVES ADVANCING’

Religious leader Kydar Persaud at a laptop
Religious leader Kydar Persaud at a laptop

Religious leader and treasurer of the Capoey/Colombia Learning Centre, Pandit Kydar Persaud, said that the ICT Hub was a dream come through for the community and as such, villagers are indeed happy for such a realisation. The religious leader said that the Hub has boosted the community and people’s lives have been transformed tremendously.

A student from Abram Zuil Secondary, Anup Singh, has also commended the NDMA for the fruitful venture. Singh said he spends his evenings at the Hub conducting research and studies online. He also teaches persons about the computers and the importance of having such devices. Singh, who is a Fifth Form student, said that the Hub was established at an opportune time facilitating his studies for the upcoming CSEC examinations. Like Singh, other children who were at the Affiance Hub were actively conducting research as well.

‘POSITIVE IMPACT’

Chairman of Queenstown Marlon Alves.
Chairman of Queenstown Marlon Alves.

The Queenstown Hub is also creating a positive impact to those living within the community. Chairman, Marlon Alves said that already plans are in place to upgrade the Hub by installing a printer as well as have trainers available to teach persons. Alves said that the Hub is also partnering with G Division’s Zara Learning Centre to have trainers volunteer their services.

EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES
During interviews conducted with youth from the Queenstown area, it was revealed that persons are using the Hubs for personal upliftment as well. Cimon Azeez, a student from Johanna Cecelia Secondary school said that he visits the Hub so that he can follow his hobby, football. He said that one day he dreams of becoming a professional football player and as such uses the internet to learn some techniques.

Another student, Levlier Halls, also said that he is currently doing research on his career and which future path he would like to take. He said he is currently visiting various sites and analysing the qualifications and requirements that certain agencies require. Jerman Jones who has his eyes on joining the Guyana Police Force (GPF) one day, said that he finds the internet very educational and that he spends most of his time online visiting the Guyana Police Force website and those of other agencies in an effort to find out if they are recruiting.

Youth from the Queenstown Hub on their laptops.
Youth from the Queenstown Hub on their laptops.

A resident of the Queenstown community, Cromwell Mentis applauded the efforts of the Government for the establishment of the Hub. He said that elders as well as youths are making maximum use of same and thus far there have been tremendous improvements. Classes for the youths and the elders are being facilitated on different days.

The Queenstown and Affiance Hubs, though functioning before, were officially launched in November of 2017 and have thus far proven to be beneficial to the lives of those accessing the services. Both Hubs have plans of upgrading and to bring Information Technology to the fingertips of residents.

Source: Indrawattie Natram – Guyana Chronicle