The Government has been making headway in ensuring Guyanese have access to technology by providing computer systems and internet connectivity in schools, the One Lap-top Per Family (OLPF) project and the import of the fibre optic cable through Brazil.
This thrust was further advanced on May 14 when a seven-week ICT training programme, free of cost, commenced in East Ruimveldt for 14 youths. The participants were taught skills in introduction to computers, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
On Saturday last residents of East La Penitence gathered at the health centre for the graduation ceremony organised by Minister in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran.
The programme was organised by Minister in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran and is an indication that Government will continue to address the social needs of communities, thereby ensuring youths acquire a life skill.
At the graduation Dr. Ramsaran noted the programme’s success and disclosed that it will be continuous.
Prior to the commencement of the ICT training programme, work was done to ensure that the community centre remained functional and is used to its fullest capacity. Several of the youths who were engaged in the training had volunteered to clean and rid the community of garbage while support was given by Minister of Transport and Hydraulics, Robeson Benn who provided excavators and other equipment to clean silted canals and drains.
Apart from the community’s youths receiving assistance from the Health Ministry, two other Government agencies, namely the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the Labour Ministry’s Board of Industrial Training (BIT) also gave support in making available training opportunities.
In promoting continuous community development, Dr. Ramsaran emphasised that the new East La Penitence Health Centre has the potential to be more than a health centre since it has the capacity to facilitate community activities, particularly those that can keep youths in the community gainfully occupied. The residents were urged to derive activities that can be done at the institution.
He added that while the health centre was being built, repairs were done on the community centre and computers installed.
Dr. Ramsaran suggested that the centre can be used as a hub for the OLPF project.
Dr. Ramsaran disclosed that another facility in the community can be used for training, a building owned by Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), which can be used to conduct electrical and mechanical programmes.
Chief Executive Officer – BIT, Genevieve Blackman gave a presentation on the programmes available and urged for the interested persons to visit the organisation so that they can be able to learn a skill that will aid personal development.
Project Coordinator – OLPF, Sesh Sukhdeo urged the residents, particularly those who have not applied for a lap top, to do so. Some 5000 persons have approached the agency and accessed assistance in completing the application forms.
Sukhdeo said that the first 27,000 lap tops are expected to arrive in October. In this regard, the agency will be working along with BIT to generate persons with computer repairs skills to be involved in the OLPF project.
Minister Ramsaran also met with the Strike Again football team from Albouystown and encouraged the group of children to stay in school and show respect to their parents, teachers and peers.
He acknowledged the stance taken by community leaders to involve youths in activities that distract them from getting involved in deviant activities.
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