Telecommunications training key to sector development

With the allocation of approximately G$10M for the technological training of Guyanese, the Ministry of Public Telecommunications has been collaborating with several agencies to conduct training sessions for people of all ages across the nation. The Ministry’s Industry and Innovation Department (IID) is the unit overseeing the training and outreaches.

One of the robots that was built at the STEM Guyana one-day training workshop
One of the robots that was built at the STEM Guyana one-day training workshop

The Industry & Innovation Department, in collaboration with the NGOs CAFRA and ‘Virtuous Women on a Mission’ from the Linden community, facilitated a computer literacy workshop for grassroots organizations at the Linden Technical Institute from January 29 to February 2.

The Information Communication Technology (ICT) training was to better equipped members with the technical skills needed to manage their businesses, strengthen the organisation’s advocacy, and assist in their personal lives. The areas covered included Utilizing Social Media, the Web and other tools for Advocacy. Volunteer course facilitators included Dr. Rosh Khan from the Master Class Institute, Akola Thompson of Help and Shelter, and Sade Barrow-Brown represented Intellect Storm Incorporated.

Then from February 1 to 3, the Ministry collaborated with STEM Guyana on a series of certification workshops for teachers and technology leaders interested in establishing technology clubs in their communities. The one-day training workshop in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Robotics, were aimed at equipping them with requisite skills to become Tech Coaches.

Elenie Andre of the Cacique Foundation
Elenie Andre of the Cacique Foundation

They learnt how to organise, raise funds, lead a Technology Club, the basics of building and programming robots, and the fundamentals of Scratch Programming. When they become certified coaches, they will be expected to create clubs and prepare teams for competition in the scheduled Scratch and Robotics nationwide contests.

Karen Abrams of STEM Guyana explained that winners of the competition will then form a national league to compete internationally, and she announced that a second round of training will be held in March. “We hope to launch the league in March so we expect teams to be competing in NDCs within regions,” she said

The participants all agreed that the training programme was interesting and said they are anticipating sharing their new knowledge with their students in their communities.

Alicia Rakim, Lusignan/Good Hope Learning Centre said she and her team of two were thrilled to be part of the training, “It’s awesome; it facilitates brainstorming, problem-solving and analyzing information.” Rakim added that her centre plans to launch a STEM club soon. She also noted that the Club intends to apply science and technology to solve issues at the local level to transform the community for the better.

Abdullah Sookram, of the Guyana Deaf Association
Abdullah Sookram, of the Guyana Deaf Association

Abdullah Sookram, a representative of the Deaf Association of Guyana said he was quite impressed with the amount of work they did during the training exercise. He opined that with the correct technological skills, they will be able to train other persons with disabilities, for school, for social and other purposes.

Michael Clemson, a teacher of the Three Miles Secondary School , Bartica noted that the training will definitely stimulate students’ interest in computers, and opined that the newly trained coaches will have another stream of information to share with students and community.

This outreach was part of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications (MoPT) endeavour to better incorporate technology and STEM into communities across the country. Basic and intermediate level computer training, ICT Hubs, technological training, and basic computer knowledge are some of the key areas that the IID unit is primarily responsible for.

Source: DPI – Zanneel Williams