43 Region Nine youths graduate from ICT training
Some 43 youths of Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) are the latest beneficiaries of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) training programme being offered to hinterland and riverine communities by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
The programme targets participants ages 10 to 18 providing them with computer literacy to prepare them for the country’s modernised development.
In brief remarks, Director of the Prime Minister’s Industry and Innovation Unit, Mr. Shahrukh Hussain told the graduates to use the skills and knowledge provided as a stepping stone to advance their capacity in today’s society, where the use of technology has become imperative to conduct daily activities.
He said the training is one of many initiatives the Government has embarked on to improve the country’s ICT infrastructure and bridge the connectivity gap in urban and rural communities.
Mr. Hussain said the unit’s mandate is to “fill the current human resources gap between the coastal areas and the hinterland areas in ICT and are engaged in several training and capacity building interventions, aimed at different target groups and skill levels.”
Regional Chairman, Mr. Bryan Allicock, spoke of the use of technology and its role in empowering the youth to achieve their goals. He also encouraged them to share their knowledge with others in their respective communities.
Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, since taking office, has been pushing the enhancement of access to the internet via the expansion of the fibre-optic network, subsidised internet access to poor households, and the establishment of ICT hubs among other projects.
This has led to the establishment or refurbishing of ICT hubs in 200 hinterland and riverine communities under the ICT access and eServices for hinterland, poor and remote communities’ project.
Earlier this year, the Government distributed $1.73 billion to Amerindian communities as a one-off COVID-19 relief investment fund geared at creating job opportunities, generating incomes and implementing infrastructural development projects.
To this end, it was advised by several government officials that at least $2 million from their respective grants can be utilised to either refurbish or rebuild ICT hubs in communities.
The selected communities are currently being assessed to determine their readiness to benefit from the project.