Maitagual, Maraval, and Tacarigua are the three latest communities to benefit from state-of-the-art ICT Access Centres, which were formally opened in September.
These are located inside three newly constructed Community Centres, and are part of the ongoing partnership between the Ministry of Sport and Community Development and the Ministry of Digital Transformation.
The Maitagual Community Centre, located in Petit Bourg, San Juan, was opened on September 14, 2022. The Tacarigua Community Centre was opened on Wednesday, while the Maraval Community Centre will be opened tomorrow (Thursday).
These Centres are among six brand new Access Centres which have been opened by the Ministry of Digital Transformation between May and September, 2022. Twelve Centres are now available across Trinidad.
Each ICT Access Centre features Hubs where visitors may ‘Connect and Create’ and explore training opportunities which encourage them to ‘Educate and Innovate’.
The facilities, equipped with desktop computers, laptops and printing facilities, will provide underserved or ICT-excluded communities with internet access, free printing services, access to government services and information.
People will also have access to online educational training resources which allow the residents to continue their education and build professional skills and competencies.
The Access Centres are also staffed with residents employed from within the communities or surrounding districts. They can offer training and support to customers who may not be familiar with or confident using computer devices or going online.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the Maitagual community Centre on September 14, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Digital Transformation, Richard Madray, said the ICT Access Centres are about more than computer and Wi-Fi access.
He said: “I firmly believe that this will add significant value to the residents of Maitagual and environs, and reinforce the good work of local organisations. Your ICT Access Centre can also serve as a gateway to raise awareness of Maitagual in the wider national community and beyond.”
The Maitagual Community Centre was opened by the Minister of Sport and Community Development, Shamfa Cudjoe, and Minister of Health and MP for St Joseph, Terrance Deyalsingh.
The opening of ICT Access Centres across Trinidad and Tobago is in keeping with the Ministry’s promise to ensure that all communities within Trinidad and Tobago can participate in a Digital Society, Digital Economy and Digital Government.
In bridging the digital divide, Minister of Digital Transformation, Hassel Bacchus has pledged that access will not merely mean coverage and access to broadband as a public good, but that no one is left behind.
Digital Literacy training, through partnerships with the Adult Literacy Tutors Association (ALTA) Online Programme, and the YTEPP Limited, will also be conducted at the Access Centres, to ensure persons are confident in using digital technology.
Other training partnerships with the Microsoft Philanthropic Group and other organisations are also scheduled to come on stream before end of year.
The Ministry has committed that by the end of the year, 50 ICT Access Centres, physical and/or virtual, will be operational, under construction, and/or approved for construction.
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