Training and capacity building a major component of ICT Hubs project

The Ministry of Public Telecommunications (MoPT), through the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), is committed to not only establishing Information and Communication Technology Hubs (ICT) hubs across the country but to also providing training and capacity building.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, speaking on the sidelines of the recent opening of the Leguan ICT hub, said the NDMA is mapping out training programmes that will be specific to the individual hubs across the country.

Her ministry is also working closely with the Education Ministry in this regard. A focus area for the MOPT is the ‘Guyanese Girl Code’ programme, which Minister Hughes said, has received an overwhelming response.

“We were really looking for 25 girls to start with and we have close to 60, so we have to expand that programme.”

She noted further that, “as we create a hub in a community, we are realising that we need to make sure that as the hub becomes available, we target those persons in the community that are going to use the hub, that do not have the requisite skills.”

Meanwhile, Minister Hughes said a major challenge for the NDMA in establishing hubs in remote, poor and hinterland communities, is the lack of infrastructure.

However, she noted that “we so far have had regional officers that have come forward and said we have a room or we have space.”

Some communities also face the challenge of high electricity costs to operate the hubs.

In light of this, a request was made to Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan to have the regions allocate funds in their annual budgets, which will cater for the electricity cost at some of the hubs.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes.
Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes.

Minister Hughes commended the efforts of some residents in this initiative. The Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) has also made interventions by providing hubs with individual meters.

She reiterated that the process of bringing connectivity to all Guyanese is a collective effort of the Government and stakeholders.

The Community ICT hub project involves the provision of laptops, internet connectivity and access to information that will transform learning and how residents go about their daily lives.

This is in keeping with the government’s policy which focuses on enhancing connectivity and access to the internet and eGovernment services for individuals and communities with particular attention given to hinterland and remote communities, and vulnerable groups, who may otherwise be excluded.

Source: Stacy Carmichael – DPI