Govt steadfast in providing internet access to Hinterland

―as Gov’t continues initiatives to link Hinterland with the coast

―153 schools across Guyana now have internet access

DPI, Guyana, Monday, March 18, 2019

The Ministry of Public Telecommunications has been working in close collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Public Health to provide various services to improve the quality of life for Guyanese.

These initiatives are being continuously implemented because the Government of Guyana has recognised the need for the increased and informed use of ICT platforms for the development of a nation.

ICT refers to technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications. It is similar to Information Technology (IT) but focuses primarily on communication technologies. This includes the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication mediums.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes addressing Toshaos and Senior Councils of Sub-District One, North Pakaraimas, Region Eight.

Among these efforts is the provision of free and reliable internet access to the residents of Kato, a Region Eight Indigenous Community. Internet access is available at the recently commissioned Kato Secondary School and will soon be extended to the entire community.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes at a recently held Regional Development Workshop hosted by the Ministry of Communities in Kato cited the administration’s commitment to having the entire country equipped with internet access. “This is going to be part of the change we want to make,” Hughes said.

“The more you look at telecommunications, the more we understand that in the world, the countries and the people that have been able to move ahead are doing it through the internet and through all the different opportunities technology allows.”

She further explained that her Ministry has recognised the importance of citizens being able to access the internet for research, leisure, business and other limitless possibilities.

In this regard, Minister Hughes announced that the Public Telecommunications Ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Health to create smart clinics across the Hinterland to ensure equitable access to specialists and with the Ministry of Education in the creation of smart classrooms and e-libraries.

These e-libraries are resource centres which offer learners the opportunity to receive paperless education. The Ministry of Education has over the last three years, made available online several textbooks and other reading material for easier access.

“The first thing we started to do is make sure that all the schools in Guyana have some internet,” Minister Hughes said.

Working in unison with the Ministry of Education and the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), the Ministry has in two years equipped 153 schools in all ten Administrative Regions with free internet access.

As the agency responsible for implementing Guyana’s eGovernment agenda, the NDMA has been working to ensure that government agencies, schools and ministries as well as Guyanese citizens access public services online.

“We recognised in these areas you could never have enough teachers, you could never have enough books. It means that no longer, in areas like Kato do we need to say that a child in Kato can’t do as well as a child in Georgetown because we are making sure that the same services and access to education are going to be here and so even in terms of other uses for the internet,” the Minister clarified.

Minister Hughes also noted that ICT training will commence this year in the Hinterland to allow all Guyanese to become more au fait with telecommunication technologies.

Nateshia Isaacs.

Image: Anil Seelal and Derick Bridgemohan.


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