Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes has assured the National Toshaos Council (NTC) that government has begun to bridge the education divide through the establishment of smart classrooms.
The Minister who was making a presentation on Wednesday evening at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) during the 12th annual NTC conference said the landscape of the hinterland regions poses several challenges for the delivery of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in remote locations.
She explained, the smart classroom concept, which allows students in remote and hinterland locations to connect with teachers in Georgetown through the use of ICTs, is a system similar to Skype.
The same principle applies to teachers in the hinterland. Minister Hughes said through ICT connectivity they will soon be able to complete the teacher’s training course via the internet.
The Public Telecommunications Minister informed the NTC that over 157 schools have been connected across the country, with several in the hinterland.
Some of these include Aishalton, Sand Creek, St. Ignatius, Annai and Karasabai Secondary and the Bina Hill Institute. She urged that the council continue to work with the government to continue the transformation process.
As it relates to telephone service, Minister Hughes said the two main operators; the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) and Digicel have said the cost to set up towers in these areas is too high.
However, with the passage of the Telecommunications Legislation, government is now in the position to invite other international and even local entrepreneurs to provide telephone and internet services in the hinterland.
Minister Hughes noted that there are far too many communities that do not have telephone services. She anticipates that by year-end, there will be more operators present in Guyana.
“Government believes we can begin to transform and do more work in those communities if we can get the technology to you and I am happy to say that we have started that process,” she told the Council. (DPI)
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