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TSTT. EFOT providing technology training for rural Tobago

TSTT and the Empowerment Foundation of Tobago (EFOT) have launched a six-week Computer literacy and Internet training program for targeted leaders of rural village councils and community based organisations in Tobago. The program is geared at providing participants with information communications technology (ICT) skills that can be tised to improve the administration of these community organisations. 

The program is being provided at no cost to the participants since TSTT wants to ensure that lack of material resources is not a barrier to people taking advantage of this important opportunity. While much has been said about bridging the digital divide, TSTT has facilitated this program and a similar one in Trinidad, out of its concern for the development of ICT skills among rural groups.  These groups are at greatest risk of being left behind in the information age because of their location in relation to where training facilities exist and the relatively high cost for accessing such programs on an individual basis.

Thirty participants from Bloody Bay, Charlotteville and John Dial are enrolled in the program at  EFOT.  President of the Bloody Bay Village Council, Kesley Andrew said he believed that the program would be beneficial in bringing the rural Tobago youth into the technological age, adding that computer literacy was now as important as numeracy and literacy skills.

Marcia Washington Manager at EFOT told the participants that most things today can be done today using a computer, including banking, travel and tertiary education. She noted that while community based organisations were actively pursuing revenue-generating projects to reduce un-employment and enhance the development of their communities “Communities that do not have ICT skills will he at a definite disadvantage”. She told them that Computer and Internet literacy training would help improve the management and marketing of community-based enterprises.

Ms. Washington thanked TSTT for sponsoring the program in Tobago adding that it was important to develop the human capacity of Tobagonians to actively use the technology that was now shaping the world.