UG partners with Google, CSOD to train 150 youths in Guyana


The University of Guyana, on Saturday, kicked off a 3-month long training programme specially designed for youths.

Guyana’s national University partnered with the Caribbean School of Data (CSOD) to deliver in the areas of Digital/Data Literacy, Data Management, Data Visualization, Data Integration and Big Data Analytics.

The orientation ceremony for the first two cohorts, which comprise eighty students, was held virtually on March 5th, and the training programme which began on March 6 will run until May 29, 2021.

Classes are being held virtually, once per week. Lecturers, current students, and a few graduates of the Computer Science Department at the University of Guyana will deliver the programme completely in Guyana.

The agreement between the University of Guyana and SlashRoots Foundation (SRFDN), entered into in 2019, stipulates that UG will train about 150 students in the areas of Digital/Data Literacy, Data Management, Data Visualization, Data Integration and Big Data Analytics.

The academic agreement was signed over a year ago, however, the commencement of the programme suffered some delays due to the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic which required the original face to face format to be converted to online.

Among those present at the orientation ceremony were; Professor Paloma Mohamed Martin, Vice-Chancellor Xi, University of Guyana; Dr. Maurice McNaughton, Director for the Centre of Excellence and Innovation at the Mona School of Business & Management, UWI; Ms. Aurel Liddell, Head of the Computer Science Department at UG and Lecturers of the Computer Science Department and Co-organisers for the CSOD programme, Ms. Penelope DeFreitas and Ms. Juanelle Marks, among others.

In her remarks, Professor Mohamed Martin lauded the efforts of the regional partners and
lecturers of the University of Guyana in ensuring the programme was able to reach its commencement stage inspite of known challenges. “It is wonderful that despite last year’s difficulties we have had in the world that we have still found a way to bring this programme to a successful beginning even though it has been slightly delayed. I would like to thank and congratulate all our wonderful lecturers at the University of Guyana and all those who they are partnering with, who have helped to make this happen.”

“I definitely believe this programme has a tremendous lot to offer and as always my office is very committed to making sure that we can give you every support you need.,” Professor
Mohamed Martin added.

The Vice-Chancellor also reminded the students that there is a demand for such training and
encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunity and keep developing themselves.

“So, to those persons who got the opportunity to come in and to be a part of the programme, you are lucky, you are privileged, you are blessed and therefore I really want to encourage you to do everything in your power to stay connected, to learn everything you can and to complete this programme.”

Dr McNaughton in his presentation said: “One of the things COVID has forced many of us, both society and individually, to sort of retreat into our homes or retreat into enclosed spaces, and one of the things we think is incredibly important for this kind of learning experiences is the idea of an online community. So we encourage students along with their facilitators to take advantage of the online platform to interact with each other and share their ideas”.

The organisers have expressed that once the students have completed their training, several of them are expected to be placed into jobs and internships, and on this basis, called on the
private sector to lend support.

They called on mentors and guest speakers working in the area of data management and data science to collaborate with the team.

Employers, potential mentors and guest speakers can make contact with the team via [email protected]

The training initiative, which also involves several other regional territories, seeks to increase employability and economic opportunities for at-risk youth across the Caribbean through digital literacy and data skills training.

The project aims to train 1500 young men and women, ages 18-29 in digital and data-skills and help them to acquire new job competencies, essential for the emerging digital economy and the workplace.

The project is funded by, Google’s philanthropy organization, and is executed by
a Network of Regional Partners across the Caribbean through the CSOD’s unique blended
learning model.

The University of Guyana has delivered several community based digital skills programmes over the last 8 months as part of their citizen success goal outlined in its Blueprint 2040.