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Georgetown, Guyana – (June 8, 2017) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger commended the 23 graduates of the Buxton Information Communication Technology (ICT) training workshop for persevering and completing the course, at the graduation exercise held, last evening, at the Friendship Primary School, East Coast Demerara.

“Young people are doing many things to inspire us, not the least of which is this seizing of knowledge and grasping of opportunities that are beginning to become available to them and I want to hope that with your certificates… you will understand that you can seize your own destiny and you can do whatever you want in this life,” she said.

Mrs. Granger told the graduates that she was proud of their achievements and that she was pleased to see the increasing number of young men participating in the workshop.

“I feel even more proud to see that as we proceed, the number of young men who are participating in this workshop is increasing gradually… I feel [that] our young men and males in general have to be empowered as well so that we’re all going along on the same road and no one is left by the wayside… I congratulate you and I congratulate the young ladies who have stood the course. You have been disciplined and you have come through and you have proven to yourself that you can complete the training,” she said.

: First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger presents Mr. Joshua Abrams with the trophy for the Most Improved Student, at the graduation ceremony.

Meanwhile, Facilitator, Mr. Fitzroy Younge, in his address said that the workshop aimed to provide an opportunity for young adults, who had no prior computer skills, to acquire basic training in [ICT]. “In addition to becoming self-empowered, the ICT skills requirement would enable these young adults to perform effectively in various sectors of Guyana while simultaneously strengthening community with knowledgeable persons,” he said.

In his feature address, Mr. Vidyaratha Kissoon encouraged the graduates to share their knowledge with their peers and to confidently pursue their goals. “You have to keep learning. The end of school does not mean the end of learning, whether you like it or not so be conscious [of that]. Please read. In this new world, there’s this thing called information technology and a lot of the new information is communicated through words and language,” he said.

He also commended them for persevering through the challenges and completing the programme. “Work provides you with experience… I will encourage you to stick with things… I also want to say to you that it is okay not to do what everybody else is doing and don’t follow the crowd,” he said.

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Mr. Vidyaratha Kissoon presents Ms. Ja​d​a Scott with her certificate.

In addition, Chairman of the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) Mr. Clinton Williams, in his address, lauded the First Lady for spearheading this initiative and noted that the BIT views this workshop as “an integral part of [its] programme of intensifying the delivery of relevant occupational, technical and vocational skills training with a view to addressing entry level occupational skills … for the industrial and services sector … for both the public and the private sector”.

He then charged the graduates to be good ambassadors of the programme by their conduct in the wider society and advised them that in order to succeed in life they would need to be courageous, honest, have the right attitude, be respectful and strive for excellence.

Mr. Horace Mosely, who participated in the first STEM Robotics workshop in August 2016 and provided training in this field at the workshop, also congratulated the graduates on their success. He also announced that the Buxton group is the first to have built two robots, one of which is a guitar, which they are using an Application downloaded onto a cellular phone to operate.

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Chairman of the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) Mr. Clinton Williams presents Ms. Anntenet Adams with her certificate.

This skills training initiative is the second such programme for 2017, which is held under the auspices of the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Social Protection, and the third since it was first implemented on May 4, 2016. The packed curriculum included instruction in remedial Mathematics and English, an introduction to the computer, sexual and reproductive health, training in Science, Technology, and Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, microenterprise and soft skills, including telephone ethics and time management. On completion, each graduate was awarded with a certificate of completion, which is accredited by the BIT.

Ms. Abeke Lewis graduated as the Valedictorian, Ms. Aisha Peters, the Salutatorian and Mr. Joshua Abrams, was named the Most Improved Student. Some of the other graduates also said that they were pleased about their accomplishments. In an invited comment, Ms. Anntenet Adams said, “I feel fantastic and very thrilled… I’ve learned a lot… since I was a little girl growing up I always wanted to become a teacher, but now … I’ve decided that if I don’t become a teacher I will obviously become an entrepreneur.” Ms. Faye David was also happy to have graduated. “I feel very great. I will be able to get a job with this certificate and [I] will be able to teach others,” she said.

The trainers included Ms. Ovian Austin, Ms. Leslyn Luke, Mr. Royston Martins and Mr. Bevon Currie, among others. Mr. Deon Abrams, Chairman of the Neighbourhood Democratic Council, also attended the ceremony.

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Chairman of the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) Mr. Clinton Williams, First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger and Mr. Vidyaratha Kissoon look on as Mr. Horace Moseley operates the robot created during the Buxton ICT workshop.

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