Guyana PAHO Country Office, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Adolescents Unit, conducted a two-week computer training on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for 15 adolescents from Linden town, Region 10 from 21 June, which concluded with certification on 2 July 2021. This initiative is part of the Susan Buffet Foundation project. The Global Technology Institution provided the expertise training for the students to equip them for the world of work.
A significant proportion of issues affecting the health and wellbeing of adolescents are influenced by factors and experiences that are modifiable. Social problems such as domestic and gender-based violence, stress, peer pressure, poor conflict resolution, and communication skills make it more difficult for adolescents to cope. Information and Communications Technology or ICT is the infrastructure and components that enable modern computing. Although there is
no single, universal definition of ICT, the term is generally accepted to mean all devices, networking components, applications, and systems that, combined, allow people of all ages to interact in the digital world.
An ICT-Hub will be a sustainable physical Centre with the necessary infrastructure with one of the most compelling and cost-efficient ways to improve the standard of living in the developing world. Establishing ICT hubs for adolescents will support and promote capacity building and the potential to challenge many limitations that may hinder their development.
This group is the first batch of adolescents between the ages of 10-19 years old selected to be training in ICT as part of an ongoing project to engage adolescents in this time of COVID-19. The courses conducted were Computer Fundamentals, Microsoft Word Core 2016, Microsoft Excel Core 2016, Internet and Email, and Microsoft PowerPoint 2016. However, this will not be the end. PAHO will continue to engage all the adolescents trained to be trainers for future ICT training conducted in the regions. Facilitating the training as trainers will help the adolescents to build their computer skills continuously.
Amy Amsterdam 16 expressed gratitude for being one of the persons selected, said “ I am very happy I was selected because it helped
me in the Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPM) examination I had. I was happy with my performance at my examination because most of what came in the examination I learned at the training. Half of the things I learned I was not taught at school in preparation for my examination, and for this I am happy”.
Amy and a few other students are currently taking the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) examinations.
Shaquawn Federicks 17 said that “these courses helped me to better traverse the computer software, more specifically word and excel”.
Both students said that every adolescent should learn to use the computer and that this project will help this to do so.
The two weeks training ended with a small graduation ceremony for the students to receive their certificates. The ceremony was attended by representatives from the PAHO Guyana CO and the Ministry of Health.
Similar training will be held at the newly built ICT hub in Central Annai, Region 9, catering to 15 adolescents from Annai and surrounding communities.