The Ministry of Health recently hosted a graduation ceremony for young people who participated in an Information Technology training programme in East Ruimveldt and noted that plans are in train to host other courses to keep youth gainfully occupied.
According to a Govern-ment Information Agency (GINA) press release, the seven-week course was held with 14 youths. Participants were taught skills such as introduction to computers, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Prior to the start of the course, work was done to ensure that the community centre remain functional and is used to its fullest capacity.
Several of the youths who were engaged in the training had volunteered to clean and rid the community of garbage with support from Minister of Transport and Hydraulics Robeson Benn, who provided excavators and other equipment to clean silted canals and drains. Two other government agencies, namely the Ministry of Culture and the Labour Ministry’s Board of Industrial Training (BIT), also provided support by making available training opportunities.
At the graduation ceremony, which was held at the East La Penitence health centre, Minister in the Ministry of Health Dr Bheri Ramsaran said the course was successful and it will be continuous. He said that the health centre has the potential to facilitate community activities which can keep youths gainfully occupied. Residents were asked to brainstorm activities that can be hosted at the centre.
Ramsaran said while the centre was being built, the community centre was rehabilitated and furnished with computers. He suggested that the centre can be the hub for the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) project.
The minister also said another facility in the community, a building owned by Basic Needs Trust Fund, can be used to host electrical and mechanical training for youth.
In addition, CEO of the BIT programme Genevieve Blackman gave a presentation on the programmes available and urged interested persons to visit the organisation so that they can be learn a skill that will aid personal development. Also, OLPF Project Coordinator Sesh Sukhdeo urged residents, particularly those who have not applied for a laptop, to do so. “Some 5,000 persons have approached the agency and accessed assistance in completing the application forms,” GINA noted. Sukhdeo said that the first 27,000 lap tops are expected to arrive in October and as such the agency will be working with the BIT to have persons with computer repairs skills involved in the OLPF project.
Ramsaran also met with the Strike Again football team from Albouystown to encourage them to stay in school. He also lauded the stance taken by community leaders to involve youths in activities in order to prevent them from becoming susceptible to deviant behaviour.