Georgetown, Guyana – (September 7, 2019) Forty-six adolescent and out-of- school youths from 14 Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven) communities, yesterday, graduated from an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) workshop spearheaded by First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger.
Minister of State, Mrs. Dawn Hastings-Williams, also attended the ceremony, which was hosted at the Kamarang Primary School by 30 D.C Caesar Fox Secondary School students, who participated in a two-day STEM Guyana Robotics camp at Waramadong village.
Delivering her charge to the graduates, the First Lady emphasised the Government’s efforts to provide equal access to education to students in the hinterland and those on the coastland.
“Regardless of where you live in Guyana, you are living in the modern world and you have to be equipped to deal with it and this is why this programme is so important and is certified by the Board of Industrial Training…We have to start going to our interior locations so that the young people understand and can come to grips with technology and the knowledge that they need to perform in the modern world, because once we get technology, you will be able to communicate across your villages… and throughout the world, without having to leave your home. You can work from home [and]you can create and share ideas …All of that you are going to learn through this,” Mrs. Granger said.
The almost month-long workshop was held in Kamarang.
Additionally, the First Lady donated two Robotic kits to the D.C Caesar Fox Secondary School, which subsequently received two more kits from Minister Hastings-Williams.
The Minister, in her remarks, said the ICT workshop is testimony of President David Granger’s vision and the Government’s policy on science and technology. She informed that through the Government, there is special funding available for science and technology initiatives.
“The Government of Guyana, under His Excellency, has established what we call NEST… [which] simply means National Endowment for Science and Technology. It is a special fund that the President puts aside every year and if a community or a school requests laptops or anything to do with science and technology, there is this special fund that the Ministry of the Presidency has to boost you up and fund some of the programs that you have,” Minister Hastings-Williams said.
She also told the participants that they were not lesser people because of their race or culture. “You are not inferior because you are Indigenous, if you are given the opportunities and the encouragement, the skills and tools and equipment, you can make it like anybody else,” she said.
Meanwhile, participant Ms. Barbalee John, speaking on behalf of the students, said that the workshop has boosted their confidence.
“We are now confident to work and develop our communities and our country … I want to say that we the youths of Upper- Mazaruni will become successful business owners and I have learnt that as business persons we sell solutions,” she said.
Regional Chairman of Cuyuni- Mazaruni (Region Seven), Mr. Gordon Bradford and other senior representatives of the Region; Chief Executive Officer of BIT, Mr. Richard Maughn and Vice Chairman of BIT, Mr. Donald Ainsworth also attended the ceremony.