Nat. Library’s Smart Skills Programme targets persons of employable age

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– Empowerment through improved functional learning

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Guyana National Library on Tuesday launched their smart skills pilot programme which caters to persons of employable age. These include labourers, sanitation/janitorial workers, porters, housewives, market vendors, young entrepreneurs, unemployed youths, persons who are employed or seeking employment but lack basic functional skills.

In her remarks, Head of ICT, National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD), Dr Marcia Thomas, said, “Smart skills refer to the skills that are related to the emotional and social intelligence of a citizen. It means that every citizen in Guyana should be able to fill out a form, be able to sign their name, should be able to function in society.”

Dr. Thomas commended the National Library for taking on this venture as it will assist persons in their day to day functions. “ We need to start training our people to be able to function and this is a bold and fantastic step by the National Library; because we tend to take for granted what is normal for some people.”

She urged all the participants enrolled for the courses to take full advantage of the technology available.

Five modules have been selected for the programme, three of which had been developed for the project’s pilot phase. The Reading Course for Adults will address the needs of persons who have gaps in their reading and writing skills. Another module – Recognition and Signing of Names, caters to persons who may still be using a thumbprint as their signature for business and other official purposes.

The third is the Filling of Forms which will help persons to better comprehend terms commonly found on most forms and provide practice on completing several forms generally used by government departments and businesses in Guyana.

The others to be developed are the Financial and Health Literacy modules. Through interactive sessions, the Financial Literacy module will provide participants with a deeper understanding of money management; using ATMs, smart shopping, preparing personal and business budgets.

Persons interested in the Health Literacy module will receive guidance on strengthening their ability to read and understand basic medical and health information and how to ask questions of health professionals.

The smart skills programme is intended to improve functional literacy in the employable age group. It is aimed at teaching individuals how to effectively apply literacy skills learnt with confidence and less dependency on others.

Also, in attendance at the launch was Director of NCERD, Jennifer Cumberbatch, and Shonelle Bacchus, Customer Experience Manager, Unicomer Guyana Incorporated. 

Kipenie Jordan.

Images: Giovanni Gajie.


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