A series of workshops on Basic Computing, Solar Systems and Medical Equipment are being held at the University of Guyana Berbice Campus this week. The workshops are being facilitated by French-based Guyanese, Joseph Farley, and will target students of the campus, police recruits at the Felix Austin Police College and students of the New Amsterdam Technical Institute.
Mr Farley, who holds a Masters Degree in Science and Electrical Engineering, is a Guyanese who migrated while he was young. He has been with a technologically-driven company, Texas Instruments France, for 20 years.
That company is involved in chips and integrated circuits for cellular phones as well as analogue circuits such as amplifiers, converters, low- power micro- controllers, medical electronics and chips for computers and televisions.
Farley’s desire, he added, was not to return to Guyana to share some knowledge in the fields in which he specialises.
Farley noted that Guyana is making progress in the internet arena but bigger progress has to be made. “Sure it’s [Guyana] is moving in a right direction, it needs to move quicker”. He was “surprised to find the University’s data rate is very, very low” and “that is totally unacceptable in this day and age and the authorities must give this the highest priority”. “It is very essential to have a high speed internet,” he noted.
On the One Laptop Per Family Project (OLPF), Farley said that it is a good idea, but he queried how the poor families are going to know how to use the laptops. “The first facility that is needed is training. We need to train every family to the computer age. If you give a piece of high tech equipment to a family and the members are not trained in using it, it will become a toy and they would get bored with it after a while and they can even damage it,” he posited.
Mr Farley’s presentation at the launch of the workshops focused on electricity and its impacts on a country’s economy. He stated that electricity supply has got to be stable and dependable and that “there would be no industry that would come into Guyana knowing they would lose working hours.”
“Let’s say we have a hundred employees and there is a blackout for four hours. That’s 400 working hours of production that would be lost; no one would tolerate that,” he said. He added that back-up systems have got to meet all the power that a factory or organization need. He said the power companies can make preventative maintenances and record why exactly blackouts are occurring and fix the problem, instead of working around the problem.
He also talked about the hydroelectricity prospects in Guyana and asked whether the developers need to go into the interior since there is a lot of sunshine and wind on the coastal areas.
“You have problems with maintenance due to coconut trees falling on the wires. Are we going to have the same problems, which are going to cause blackouts, even on a wider scale?”
He said that he is more in favour of solar and wind, since there are a lot of areas where they “can put wind turbines and generate fair good electricity with wind”.
He said Europe has got over 20 per cent of their supply of electricity from renewable sources.
The sessions he will be conducting at the Berbice campus will be about Introduction to Integrated Circuits and Spreadsheets as well as Word Processing; E-mail clients and the Internet; Components of and Using Solar Panels; Powering Remote Locations; Laboratory Blood Analysis; Principles of Medical Equipment, and Telemedicine and its technology.
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