– First Lady urges ICT participants at Melanie DamishanaFirst Lady Sandra Granger on Tuesday urged participants in the first Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training programme in the Melanie Damishana community to “think big” and to use the training as a catalyst for a successful future.The programme, which is a collaborative effort between the Office of the First Lady and the Social Protection Ministry, will run for 13 weeks and cater for 30 participants. The launch was held at the Vigalstra Housing Cooperative Administrative Building, Melanie Damishana, East Coast Demerara (ECD).The First Lady, in her address, congratulated the participants for making the decision to acquire the skills needed to succeed in times of constant technological advancement. She also emphasised the importance of continuous training and the upgrading of their skills if they were to remain relevant and adapt effectively.“This workshop is unique in that it not only teaches you about ICT; it also helps to prepare you for the world of work. It includes modules on Sexual and Reproductive Health; Robotics, which was introduced into the programme last year and proved to be very popular with our young people. Once you adhere to the instructions of the facilitators, attend sessions punctually and participate fully in this workshop, you will have earned skills in ICT required to function in the modern environment,” she said.Chief facilitator Fitzroy Younge, who provided a brief overview of the programme, noted that its objectives were to empower and educate the youths of the Melanie Damishana community and enhance the standard of living of marginalised youths through improved employability.“You have made an intelligent decision to improve the quality of your life and enhance your opportunities for development and your success. The skills that you will acquire over the next 12 weeks will contribute not only to your area, but, by extension, to the development and progress of Guyana,” he said.Younge explained that the workshop would take the form of classroom discussions, illustrations and hand-outs that would be provided to every participant after each session to aid in their revision for the workshop’s final assessment. At the close of the programme, participants will graduate with a certificate that has been certified by the Board of Industrial Training.In an invited comment, participant Janasha Ostrum explained that her aspiration of becoming an architect and her general love of technology motivated her to sign up for the workshop. “It’s going to benefit all of us here because, as First Lady said, it’s a bankable certificate; it will help you to get a job easier,” she said.Meanwhile, 18-year-old Emanuel Burnette, who graduated from the workshop when it was held in Buxton, credited the programme as being the catalyst behind him furthering his knowledge in the ICT field.“I was not really familiar with the basic things on a computer; I had never really used a computer before, but after this class it has made a difference in my life because after that, I graduated from the ICT class, I went to do information technology at a club in Georgetown and it has benefited me a lot,” he said.It is for this reason, Burnette said, that he decided to lend his support to the programme and decided to volunteer at this workshop.In addition to ICT training, the workshop will also provide instruction on basic office skills, numeracy and literacy training, sexual and reproductive health, communication skills, telephone ethics, microenterprise development and training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) robotics.This is the fifth ICT workshop that has been held to date since the programme started last year.
GTT is estimating its loss from the bypass link Digicel was reportedly using from Suriname to get data service to be billions of Guyana dollars.GTT is maintaining it has the capacity to service Digicel’s data needsThe link in question has since been shut down by Surinamese authorities and this is said to be behind disruptions in Digicel’s service. At a press conference on Monday, GTT CEO Justin Nedd shied away from suggestions his company had a hand in its competitor’s woes.“I do know that they have been working with the operators in Suriname to ensure operations are done in an above-board manner. The Surinamese regulators are doing their job. It’s not unusual for operators and regulators to communicate, but with respect to how they execute their mandate, that’s within their purview,” he said.Nedd would only admit that GTT has complained about the trans-border link to the Guyana Government. According to Nedd, GTT did not commence or threaten legal proceedings against Digicel.On the matter of capacity, Nedd maintained that his company was able to provide the same service to Digicel. He referenced times when GTT itself has provided the network for data services in neighbouring countries.“I am very confident that we have the capacity and in fact, I would like to reiterate that in 2018, we carried all the Internet traffic for Suriname, French Guiana and Guyana. And the network was resilient enough to do it.“Because there were outages in Suriname and French Guiana at the same time… given the architecture of the Guyana network, it provided enough utility to carry that traffic. So I don’t believe it’s a matter of capacity and I want to dispel that notion. Our network can handle the traffic.”After GTT raised the issue, the Public Telecommunications Ministry had previously questioned whether GTT had the capacity to provide Digicel with the data service link. Digicel customers have over the past few days been severely affected by the breakdown, with services like electronic to- up no longer available. Calls to Digicel officials went unanswered.In a previous release, GTT had stated: “We stand ready to work with Digicel to restore their connectivity as soon as possible. We have made commercial offers to Digicel over an extended period to provide capacity that would resolve, or have avoided, their current network failure. We have not taken any legal action against any Digicel Suriname or the Surinamese Government.”
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