The eGovernment Agency has completed the first phase of the Improving Digital Equity, Access and Learning (IDEAL) Programme, which has provided for 100 institutions to be connected to the eGovernment network along the Coast and Chief Executive Officer of the eGovernment Agency, Mr. Floyd Levi said that the Agency is now embarking on the second phase of this project.
Mr. Levi made these comments yesterday during a visit to Pomeroon-Supanaam (Region Two) during which the Agency sought to conduct assessments at the 11 institutions, which benefitted from the initiative in that Region. IDEAL includes the provision of a database for the creation of an interconnected e-government network within Ministries and their related agencies across the country, as well as the creation of ICT Hubs, within communities and the now completed educational institutions.
The Secondary Schools Internet Connectivity Project is the first Phase of IDEAL, and includes the installation of free WiFi Services in educational institutions in Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two), Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three), Demerara Mahaica (Region Four), Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five) and East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six). The installation of these institutions began in August took approximately one month to complete.
The institutions visited during yesterday’s trip are the Abram Zuil Secondary School, Anna Regina Multilateral Secondary School, Charity Secondary School, Cotton Field Secondary School, Johanna Cecelia Secondary School, Aurora Secondary School, Essequibo Technical Institute, the Region Two Regional Education Office (REDO), Eight of May Secondary School, Cyril Potter College of Education and New Opportunity Corps (NOC).
Agency officials met with the REDO, Ms. Baramdai Seepersaud who said that based on interactions with several of the schools, the service has since been working extremely well and will certainly aid in research and access to information. The trip also allowed for further recommendations to be made as to the expansion of phase one of the project in the Region.
During a visit to the NOC, the Agency was also able to commit to the provision of 15 computer systems for the institution’s Information Technology Laboratory. Mr. Levi said that the Agency will also fill in the gap created by a shortage of teachers to provide training for the juveniles, resident at the NOC.
He stated that just like other students, the juveniles at the NOC deserve an equal opportunity. “These students need life skills that can serve them well in the future and these things form very much a part of that future. So they have to be prepared that when they leave here they can integrate well into society and can lead meaningful and productive lives,” he said.
The second phase of the IDEAL Programme also includes the establishment of Community ICT Hubs, which will see the provision of free internet services within identified communities. This project involves meeting with key stakeholders to identify communities and meeting with the community members, the installation of systems in identified locations that are accessible by all community members and engaging with the private sector collaborations for the equipping and furnishing of hubs, where needed. (MOTP)