Thirty-six Lethem youths certified by BIT 

Georgetown, Guyana — (August 29, 2018) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, today, attended the closing ceremony of a three-week Information Communication Technology (ICT) Workshop, which saw 36 adolescent and out-of-school youths certified by the Board of Industrial Training (BIT). The workshop took place at the St. Ignatius Secondary School, St. Ignatius Village, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine).

Mrs. Granger encouraged the students to grasp the opportunities that their new certification affords them. “This programme is all about employment and preparing our young people for employment… People are becoming obsolete in certain skills and we have to think ahead… You are the ones who will inherit this new technology and you are the ones who will have to seize the day in that respect,” she said.

The First Lady also congratulated the 24 graduates of BIT’s Heavy-Duty Equipment Operator Training Programme, who shared the graduation ceremony with the ICT participants.

Chief Facilitator, Mr. Fitzroy Younge lauded the First Lady’s initiative as it complements the Government’s vision for youth empowerment in Guyana. “The objective of the programme was to provide the opportunity for adolescent and out-of-school youth… to access training in Information Communications Technology. In keeping with the Government’s vision to emphasise youth empowerment, the ICT skills acquired would enable these young people to perform effectively in various sectors of Guyana… First Lady… you are serving our country with deep compassion and empathy, you are indeed an elegant and gracious person for making these classes available, not only to the youth in Lethem, but to [the youth in] all the Regions of Guyana,” he said.

Chairman of BIT, Mr. Clinton Williams encouraged the graduates to apply their ICT skills in a wide range of sectors. “Sometimes we do these programmes without realising that [the skills acquired] can be used in a number of ways… In the business environment… ICT can be used… in data processing… Technology can be used, also, in education. The fact that we have to pull [information] from the internet suggests to you that [you can] find anything that you want to find if you follow this programme and further develop yourself… Graduates, it is said that skill is wealth, use your new skills wisely to enrich your lives and that of your family and make us all proud of having made this investment in you so that… we all, in fact, can experience the good life in return,” he said.

Most Improved student, Mr. Daniel Ruffino, in an invited comment had a word of encouragement for youths who might be intimidated by initiatives like this. “Part of it was… challenging, but I overcame that challenge… Once you start, don’t give up,” he said.

Valedictorian, Ms. Phabiula Rodrigues said that girls have a place in the technology arena. “I was never expecting to be in this position today, but I worked hard… [In] the class, mostly it was the girls dominating the boys. Yes, we can work hard and accomplish whatever [challenges] come our way,” she said.

The workshop was conducted through a collaborative effort between the Office of the First Lady, the Ministry of Social Protection, and the BIT and saw the participation of youths from St. Ignatius Village, Lethem, Quarrie, and Tabatinga.

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