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Postby duay7t15f » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:04 am

By Lance HindsIf Guyana is going to participate fully in a 21st century environment using ICT as a pillar, there must be a specific set of initiatives that we must engage in order to achieve this goal.Lance HindsLet me give two examples of the challenge that we face and must overcome.In 2013 and 2014, I went to a series of ICT business expositions looking at the possibility of providing offshore support services out of Guyana. In one of the orientation sessions, a company from England expressed an initial interest in using our ICT support services. They however want 20 programmers and 15 data analysts available on a 24-hour basis on each eight-hour shift. The overall requirement therefore was for 105 persons. End of discussion.Another shock to the system was when I went to an Animation conference with some of my Caribbean colleagues. In a meeting with Sony Entertainment, we were duly advised that while the idea of using animation studios in the Caribbean was attractive, they can get at least 500 animators per project requirement out of Korea and The Philippines. End of that discussion as well.I am not suggesting that we can match these numbers in the short term, but what is clear is that we will have to begin to train more people for these types of industries. I believe that the solution therefore is a comprehensive training programme that runs on two developmental planks.The first plank is via the existing and traditional education system. The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) continues to expand its offerings in ICT. The Information Technology curricula at CSEC and CAPE are far more streamlined, courses like Digital Media have been added to CAPE, with Animation and Gaming scheduled to be offered in 2016.The challenge first of all is that there is a severe shortage of teachers within our education system who have the skills to teach this level of courses. This reduces the amount of candidates who can sit these exams. There must therefore be an initiative to prepare more teachers to teach information technology and related curriculum in the schools as a matter of primary importance.The Department of Computer Studies at the University of Guyana, although it has improved over the past few years, must receive additional support. Better software labs and equipment with configurations that reflect as much possible the modern workplace, are badly needed. I understand that the curriculum is under review. I look forward to the results.While I respect and support the view that students must be trained purely to be computer engineers and scientists that can work anywhere,Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale, I would certainly hope that some consideration be given to at least a series of electives that would highlight the implementation of business processes in general and within Guyana’s context in particular.Last, but not certainly not least,Cheap Jerseys China, is the creation of an information technology-specific academic institution preferably built along the polytechnic model. This institution would concentrate on the development of students to be coders/programmers,Adidas Hockey Jerseys Cheap, network technicians and administrators who are not necessarily interested in pursuing the inclusive and rounded four-year degree programme at University. These students will become certified via the exams offered by global hardware and software training providers. The benefit of this is the provision of industry-ready professionals that can immediately begin to provide a range of mid-level services in what we hope to be a rapidly emerging industry in the coming years.The second plank is the development and implementation of a nationwide, community-based ICT training programme. The idea is to deliver a series of short training courses to residents particularly in rural, hinterland and economically-challenged communities. This can be done by the establishment of a number of tech hubs in the 10 regions over a manageable period.These tech hubs will first serve as training centres for teaching skills like computer familiarization,Cheap NFL jerseys China, word and spreadsheet processing, data capture functions,Wholesale Jerseys China, graphic design at a bare minimum. Ideally the courses will be delivered over no more than a six-month period. This will mean that more people are trained for the new jobs and special projects that are going to need these kinds of skills.The long term vision for these tech hubs would be for them to then become business incubators and collaborative workspaces to foster innovation and entrepreneurship at the community level. It would play a significant role in ensuring that technology solutions can be home grown and we do not always have to depend for foreign intellectual inputs.For the record, I am not preaching rocket science. Many of our sister Caricom nations are already down this path. Startup firms are already emerging and offering innovative services throughout the region. There is absolutely no reason now why we cannot participate in this process.Of course the usual questions always crop up. In terms of funding, I believe that these kinds of initiatives should be multi-stakeholder efforts, so I do not expect the Government to fund them all by itself. Collaboration between community groups, civil society and private sector organizations can certainly quality for various levels of grant funding offered worldwide to similar projects. Like everyone else, we have to do the research and pound on the doors.I always think back to when I returned to Guyana in the early 1990s. There was a vibrant IT community with two or three programming houses developing payroll, inventory and human resource information systems. I even know some old stalwarts who develop systems on the NCR or the IBM system 36 for local institutions.Some of these people did not have formal training, but in typical Guyanese fashion took to the thing like a duck to water and did some marvellous things. The industry, for whatever the reasons, did not evolve into what could have now been a significant contributor to the economy. Those programming houses faded away with migration and the pursuit of greener pastures. I believe now, however, that there is a chance for an ICT renaissance, where we take our rightful place in the Caribbean as a provider of technological services. This is another chance. We may not get it again.Lance Hinds is the current President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of the BrainStreet Group,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, an ICT consulting and information services company.
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