Public Tel transforming Guyana into a digitized society

─ ensuring every region has access to ICT

─ preparations for 2019 Code Camp underway in Hinterland regions

The Ministry of Public Telecommunications is delivering its mandate to transform Guyana into a fully digitized nation and will focus in 2019 on ensuring that inland and Hinterland regions have equal access to Information and Communication Technologies.

She was delivering the Welcome remarks to a group of University of Guyana lecturers who conducted an in-depth study of the impacts of ICT training courses in 2018 on Guyanese youths. The media was also invited to participate in their presentation of the findings from the study at Colgrain House on Monday January 14.

Minister Hughes delivered opening remarks
Minister Hughes delivered opening remarks

Minister Hughes stressed that one of the ministry’s main goals remains the re-education of citizens across the country in ICT’s at at least, the use of the Internet.

“Our goal is to reach into every single region, not only to bring the Internet network to their homes and schools, but also to train residents up close and personal, in the usefulness of the Internet in improving their lives and livelihoods, for business and for pleasure,” she stated.

The tremendous response to the various Coding and computer literacy (ICT) camps conducted in 2018 by the Ministry’s Industry and Innovation Department, was very encouraging to the Ministry and pleasing to the University lecturers who had noted that the children took to ICT “like ducks to water”.

Ministerial Advisor in ICTs, Lance Hinds remarked after the lecturers’ presentations that building a viable national ICT workforce is compulsory for Guyana to be able to move forward at the anticipated pace into a developed country. He noted that there exists a number of persons who are interested in or show propensities for ICTs, and that it is the task of the ministry to find these people and nurture those interests. This continues to be an ongoing process that the Ministry takes immense pleasure in.

He disclosed that this year, Code Camps will be taken to the Hinterland regions. The ministry is currently engaging the Iwokrama International Centre in Region 8 which has been identified as a prospective catchment hub, to partner with the MoPT to deliver training modules to students and adult residents of surrounding communities who would be expected to return to their communities to pass on their knowledge.

The ministry is also in the process of sourcing equipment including computers and devices to distribute to participants during and after they have been trained. This way they would be equipped to return to their communities and teach other residents.
“These are the reasons for programmes of this nature – find the gems, identify the talents and devise the means to hone their skills and get them qualified regardless of their circumstances,” he reiterated.

Findings of the Study

The study was conducted in 2018 on the teachings methods used and results derived from the two main projects, ‘Guyanese Girls Code’ and the regional ‘Code Camps’. The lecturers found that the overall response by participants from about age 9 to 15 was very positive. Their eagerness and determination to understand the more difficult elements fostered an environment of collaboration and communication in every classroom.

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