174 hinterland youth to get computer literacy training

– Minister Sukhai
– to aid in rollout of ICT programme in hinterland

Several Community Support Officers (CSOs) in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine are to be trained in computer literacy.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Hon. Pauline Sukhai engages residents of Karasabai at a recent community consultation

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Hon. Pauline Sukhai says provisions have been made for training in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the 2021 National Budget, which will increase the skillset of hinterland youth.

The Minister made this statement during a recent community engagement in Karasabai, Region Eight. 

“We expect to train another 174 young CSOs under the same programme so that students or these CSOs who would be trained in computer literacy will be able to take on the task in the villages when the Government roll out the ICT programme in 200 communities in the next two years,” she said.

Minister Sukhai added that the Government intends to expand the CSO programme to 2,000 youth who will in the interim, work through the village councils.

“That is the objective of engaging out-of-school youths and unemployed youths so that in the interim where they are looking for experience, they would be meaningfully engaged in their community and the Government will provide a stipend for them,” she said.

The Minister said the CSOs working along with the hinterland’sICT programme would see Amerindian villages becoming computer literate over two years. Since the CSO programme was reintroduced, 50 CSOs across 50 communities have been trained.

The PPP/C Administration has been working to resuscitate the ICT programme since taking office.

The Project Management Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister will execute the programme through the ICT Access and eServices for Hinterland, Poor and Remote Communities project.

A Community Support Officer uses a laptop in the $3 million ICT hub in Kumu village

Some 200 hinterland and riverine communities stand to benefit from the reintroduction of the programme, which was altered significantly by the Coalition Government.

So far, a US$10 million line of credit has been secured to recommence the provision of the ‘solar farms per household’ project which will precede the establishment of ICT hubs. The CSO initiative was launched in 2014 under the Youth Entrepreneurship and Apprenticeship Programme. Its reintroduction will replace the former Administration’s Hinterland Employment and Youth Service programme, which failed to meet its objectives.