Training for children in coding, software development part of holistic ICT Master Plan

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Part of the government’s mission is to deliver the best possible goods and services to citizens and that must be done in an efficient, reliable and cost-effective manner, President Dr. Irfaan Ali has highlighted.

The Head of State said that in order to achieve that mission, the country’s information and communication technology (ICT) “strategy and pathway” must be assessed.

“For us, it is not only about software or having access to ICT potential, it is far larger than that. So the platform that we are going to build and the Master Plan outlines the government’s vision,” President Ali said while addressing the first ICT Master Plan 2030 ‘Discovery kick off’ meeting on Wednesday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal.

The government believes that wide consultations are integral to forming that vision to ensure that all sectors are represented.

“We’re not going in a direction in which everyone is operating on separate platforms. We are bringing the entire ICT platform on one common agenda where all the stakeholders will be part of a singular platform to enhance efficiency, to improve productivity,” President Ali said.

The ICT framework would be crafted to facilitate the integration of the education system; at the primary school level, pupils will do basic training in coding while secondary students will be trained in software development.

“The new generation that will come, will be coming up in this ICT framework in which their knowledge and their skillset are far different from what we were accustomed to because they will be trained to operate and work in new environments, in a new Guyana in which ICT will play a catalytic part in transforming the country,” President Ali said.

President Dr Irfaan Ali addressing stakeholders at the first ICT Master Plan 2030 ‘Discovery kick off’ meeting (Photo: Office of the President/April 20, 2022)

He told the stakeholders gathered at the meeting that the new plan requires government functionaries to “migrate their thinking” to the new vision.

The master plan and improved infrastructure will help in project implementation, monitoring and evaluation, cybercrime, healthcare management, educational delivery and others, he said.

“It is also a tool that will help us to hold people more accountable to the performing of the functions and the way in which they work. So today, I want us to take this exercise very seriously and to start thinking in this new way that you are now a part of a broader strategy,” he highlighted.

Meanwhile, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo shared that the exercise to craft the master plan requires the inclusion of policymakers and not only ICT personnel so that the policymakers can contribute to the sectoral aspect of the plan.

“This is very important that you become an integral part of crafting this master vision and to work with the team on ensuring that your sectors are introduced in a manner that the systems we build today would be relevant ten years from now,” he said.

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