Georgetown, Guyana – (November 11, 2019) The Office of the First Lady, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection’s Board of Industrial Training (BIT) under its Youth Development Initiative, today, launched its second Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training programme in Mahdia, Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight).

The programme caters for 30 participants from across the region and aims at providing young adults with training in the areas of Information Technology, Literacy and Numeracy, Entrepreneurship, Sexual Reproductive Health and Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). On completion of the programme, graduates will receive a BIT accredited certificated signed by First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger.

The township of Mahdia has recorded the highest past rate with an average of 98.6 per cent, far surpassing all the other regions, over the past three years of the programme.

At the opening ceremony, Deputy Chairman, BIT, Mr. Donald Ainsworth noted that in the past, the hinterland regions were neglected, but when they are given equal opportunity and access to education, the region’s youths are just as capable of excelling as those on the coastland.

“It is thanks to the vision of President David Granger that we [BIT] are investing so heavily in our youth… We are the custodians of the resources on your behalf and we have a duty to create the opportunities for you to excel and prosper… All you need is the opportunity and we have given you that opportunity so that you can learn and progress,” he said.

Mayor of Mahdia, His worship, Mr. David Adams echoed these sentiments, noting that the administration has made education a priority and it continues to ensure that all youth, regardless of their geographical location, are exposed to a high quality of education. Mr. Adams noted too that the township is young and as development continues, there will be more job opportunities for residents across all of the sectors.

“Education is an ongoing process by which your abilities and interest will be developed and I’m happy that the Government has indicated education is a priority… ensuring every youth in this country regardless of where they live, are given the opportunity to have a good education,” he said.

The Mayor reminded that the administration has dedicated the next ten years the ‘Decade of Development’ explaining that “for that development to happen you, the young people, would need to have the necessary skills to take us forward [into] the future… Grasp this opportunity. Take whatever lesion there are to be learnt and ensure that you leave at the end of this course with the knowledge that will enhance your livelihood as you get older”.

Meanwhile, Regional Education Officer, Ms. Penelope McIntosh noted that the overall response from the region’s youth to the programme reflects a change in the culture as many of them are now embracing and becoming empowered by education and are stepping away from the traditional mining culture and into other careers. She said that 2019 has been a year of excellence for the region’s youth as there has been a marked increase in the pass rate both at the National Grade Nine Assessments (NGSA) and the Caribbean Entrance Examination (CXC), compared to previous years.

Additionally, Regional Chairman, Mr. Bonaventure Frederick expressed gratitude to the First Lady and the Government of Guyana for continuing to provide programmes to empower Mahdia’s youth. “We have seen a rise in region eight and I must thank the government for the opportunities extended to us as a region. We have come a long way and we look forward to our youth being uplifted further,” he said.

The programme is being facilitated by Mr. Fitzroy Younge. It is the final workshop of its kind in the region for the year. The opening ceremony was held in the Regional Boardroom.

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