Minister Hughes urges students to use technology to empower themselves

GINA, GUYANA. Monday, November 21, 2016

Minister of Public Telecommunications,  Catherine Hughes, addressing students today, encouraged them to become technologically savvy, and to use that experience to empower themselves.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes addressing students at the 27th anniversary of the Commission on the Rights of the Child (CRC) children’s workshop

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes addressing students at the 27th anniversary of the Commission on the Rights of the Child (CRC) children’s workshop

Speaking at the Commission on the Rights of the Child (CRC) children’s workshop in observance of the convention’s 27th anniversary, Minister Hughes explained how the government plans on using Information Communication Technology (ICT) to bridge gaps in the education, health and business sectors.

The Rights of the Child Commission(RCC)  made several recommendations for the education sector which includes; strengthening measures aimed at increasing enrolment rates in primary and secondary schools,  increasing attempts to bring dropouts back to school; ensuring that pregnant teenagers are given an opportunity to complete their education; and developing and using indicators for quality education, especially in the hinterland regions.

Minister Hughes further expressed how her Ministry plans to use ICT to help confront education challenges throughout Guyana especially in the hinterland regions with the introduction of ICT.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative, Paolo Marchi speaking at the CRC children’s workshop at Herdmanston Lodge

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative, Paolo Marchi speaking at the CRC children’s workshop at Herdmanston Lodge

Many students in the hinterland face challenges due to the lack of  Internet access. The Minister believes that continuous efforts to have internet in these areas will boost education development.

The fibre optic cable network originally started under the previous government,  was never operationalised.

Minister Hughes said, “I’m happy to say that in March of this year that network was put into place.”

The importance of the fibre optic cable network is that it allows the government through the E-Governance Unit, to make schools internet ready.

Minister Hughes stated, “I’m very proud of the fact that we have now put free internet access, in 138 schools and educational institutions as hot spots.”

The Telecommunications Minister pointed out that with the fibre optic cable network, “we can start to improve our internet connectivity throughout the length and breadth of Guyana,” and a whole new world will be opened up, she opined.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative, Paolo Marchi said, “Guyana has made very important progress towards the realisation of children’s rights since 14 Jan, 1991.” However Marchi noted, more can be done to protect children from violence.

The UNICEF Representative reminded students that they play a key role in protecting their rights and their peers’.

Through better internet connectivity in the hinterland region, students will be able to have access to teachers in Georgetown, or any other part of the country through the use of cameras and screens.

 

By Zanneel Williams

 

 

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