Georgetown, Guyana – (December 10, 2019) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger said that the introduction of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Robotics training programmes to the hinterland were not accidental but rather, part of efforts to ensure equal access to these life changing educational opportunities.

The First Lady made these remarks during her address at the closing ceremony of the second ICT training programme, which was held yesterday at the Lynette Stevens Research Centre, Mahdia, Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight).

“The fact that we came to Mahdia and we focused on interior locations was not a fluke… It was something that we planned what we would be doing in 2019 and we had agreed that we would go to the hinterland locations so that all our young people would have the access they needed to Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Robotics,” she said.

Twenty- eight youths graduated from the ICT workshop, which was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection’s Board of Industrial Training (BIT) under its youth development initiative.

Mrs. Granger, encouraged the graduates to continue along the path of personal development through education, to stand steadfast and to keep moving forward. She also urged them to work together to bring innovations through technological developments to address the needs of their township.

“Technology is changing every day because there is nothing to keep young Guyanese people from moving on in the world… you could have the opportunity through your software programming, through your innovation to develop services catering for a town as unique as Mahdia, because in this new township they will require your skills to input and share information, etcetera. So, think about all these things and what you can do and take your skills and your creativity to bring Mahdia and Region Eight to a higher level… Think about joining together with a friend who has business skills and also understands computers and technology… get on your phones get on the computers and find your markets and link up with people,” she said.

Additionally, the First Lady held a STEM workshop for Grades Five and Six students of the Mahdia Primary School.

Meanwhile, Regional Executive Officer, Ms. Mitzy Campbell, in her featured address encouraged the graduands to continue to venture into ICT educational opportunities which will make them marketable in an evolving world, where the use for technology is increasing.

“Training in Information Technology [and] Communication is in demand and to have it delivered to our home town is a great achievement… Today you have moved a notch up the scales of personal achievement… This should not be the end of the road in your educational achievement. The skills you have just acquired must be the accelerator to your upward mobility,” she said.

Additionally, Chairman, BIT, Mr. Clinton Williams said that ICT is crucial to all sectors of the country’s expanding economy. He encouraged the graduands to not only use the skills garnered for personal development, but also for the development of the nation as a whole. Mr. Williams also explained that BIT will soon establish a permanent facility for training in the region.

In an invited comment, valedictorian Ms. Melissa Andrews expressed gratitude to the First Lady for the opportunity to be a part of the workshop. She also said that the skills she obtained during the course of the programme will help her to become independent.

“I will use what I have learnt to open my own business and contribute meaningfully to my community,” she said.

Mayor of Mahdia, His Worship David Adams; Chairman of Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight), Mr. Bonaventure Fredericks and Chief Executive Officer, BIT, Mr. Richard Maughn also attended the closing ceremony.

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