‘Think big, think progress’ -First Lady urges ICT participants at Melanie Damishana

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First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, yesterday, urged participants in the first Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training programme in the Melanie Damishana community to “think big” and to use the training from this workshop as a catalyst to a successful future.

The programme, which is a collaborative effort between the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Social Protection, will run for 13 weeks and cater for 30 participants. It was held at the Vigalstra Housing Cooperative Administrative Building, Melanie Damishana, East Coast Demerara.

First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, and ICT Facilitator, Mrs. Oveanne-Maswell-Austin interacting with the young participants as they await today’s session to commence.

The First Lady, in her address, congratulated the participants for making the decision to acquire the skills needed to succeed in times of constant technological advancement. She also emphasised the importance of continuous training and the upgrading of their skills if they are to remain relevant and adapt effectively.

“This workshop is unique in that it not only teaches you about ICT; it also helps to prepare you for the world of work. It includes modules on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Robotics, which was introduced into the programme last year and proved to be very popular with our young people. Once you adhere to the instructions of the facilitators, attend sessions punctually and participate fully in this workshop, you will have earned skills in ICT required to function in the modern environment,” she said.

Chief facilitator, Mr. Fitzroy Younge, who provided a brief overview of the programme, noted that its objectives are to empower and educate the youths of the Melanie Damishana community and enhance the standard of living of marginalised youths through improved employability.

“You have made an intelligent decision to improve the quality of your life and enhancing your opportunities for development and your success. The skills that you will acquire over the next twelve weeks will contribute not only to your area but by extension to the development and progress of Guyana,” he said.

Mr. Younge explained that the workshop would take the form of classroom discussions, illustrations and hand-outs would be provided to every participant after each session to aid in their revision for the workshop’s final assessment. At the close of the programme, participated graduate with a certificate that has been certified by the Board of Industrial Training.

In an invited comment, participant, Ms. Janasha Ostrum explained that her goal of becoming an Architect and her general love of technology motivated her to sign up for the workshop. “It’s [the workshop] going to benefit all of us here because, as First Lady said, it’s a bankable certificate, it will help you to get a job easier,” she said.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Emanuel Burnette, who graduated from the workshop when it was held in Buxton, credited the programme as being the catalyst behind him furthering his knowledge in the ICT field. “I was not really familiar with the basic things on a computer, I had never really used a computer before but after this class it has made a difference in my life because after that, I graduated from the ICT class I went to do information technology at a club in Georgetown and it has benefited me a lot,” he said. It is for this reason, Mr. Burnette said, that he decided to lend his support to the programme and had decided to volunteer at this workshop.

In addition to ICT training, the workshop will also provide instruction on basic office skills, numeracy and literacy training, sexual and reproductive health, communication skills, telephone ethics, microenterprise development and training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) robotics.

This is the fifth ICT workshop that has been held to date since the programme started last year. (MotP)

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