Girls encouraged to get more involved in ICT

GUYANA, GINA, Thursday, April 27, 2017

Girls from several schools from across Georgetown were today, given the opportunity to explore the various fields related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

This was done by the Ministry of Public Telecommunications in collaboration with the National Data Management Authority (NDMA) in observance of “Girls in ICT Day” at the North Ruimveldt Secondary School on Mandela Avenue.

Students listening attentively to Business Systems Support Manager, Bonita Sampson (left in blue) as she explains what happens at the GUYSUCO ICT department on a daily basis and some of the opportunities available in the ICT sector

Girls in ICT Day is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness among girls and young women about the importance of digital skills for a successful professional career in (ICT). The girls were drawn from Christ Church Secondary, St. Joseph High, and Dolphin, Brickdam, Ascension and the North Ruimveldt Secondary Schools.

Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes speaking to the young ladies encouraged them to familiarise themselves with ICT, and to become more involved. The Minister said that over the last decade, women have been taking up high positions in various fields, adding that ICT should be no different.

“There are no limits to your future. With everything moving at such a high speed, you are now being placed in the right position on what you have already started and what the world has prepared for you,” the Minister explained.

Minister Hughes noted that devices such as computers, tablets, cellular phones and the APPs have become a part of their lives. The Minister emphasised that young people are already knowledgeable on how to use technology, and that it would be easy to now use the technology in an entrepreneurial way.

Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes as she urges the young girls to get involved in ICT

However, the Minister noted that there is no shortcut to achieving success in the ICT field, stressing that it would demand a lot of hard work and dedication. Minister Hughes told the young ladies that the government is working towards developing the local ICT sector.

Minister Hughes also highlighted that the government, by the end of the year, will be opening a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) at the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen Campus.

“In my own Ministry, we are committed to ensuring that all Guyanese, citizens of all ages are better trained in the field of ICT… so we are committed to creating the opportunities that will be able to help you make the decision to consider a career in ICT,” Hughes stated.

Afterwards, the girls were taken on a tour of some of Guyana’s established ICT departments which include the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT), the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo) Information Systems Department and the National Data Management Authority’s (NDMA) ICT department.

The gathering at the North Ruimveldt Secondary School, Mandela Avenue

The Government Information Agency (GINA) accompanied some of the girls to GuySuCo. On the tour, they were given an overview of the day-to-day operations of the company’s ICT department. They were also made aware of the different types of field they can venture into should they enter the ICT sector.

Selena Kissoon of the North Ruimveldt Secondary School is interested in becoming a Software Engineer. The 16-year-old, who is set to write the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination, said that “since I was small, I loved computers and I taught myself to use a computer and I always found a passion in IT.”

Kissoon pointed out that even though she has decided on a career before having the tour, she noted that she is “motivated more to pursue my career”.

Thirteen-year-old Tamera Jones from Brickdam Secondary school said that she was amazed by what she learnt from the tour. Jones expressed that, “they motivated me to see that it not only a man’s job. I would like to create APPs for the interest of people to help work easier.” She added that, “thinking that it is a sugar industry and it has so much high tech computers, is amazing.”

Minister Hughes said that already, 100 institutions are connected to the eGovernment network countrywide. The Minister said that more institutions including schools will be connected by the end of the year.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite


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