Bacchus launches digital training programme

The Ministry of Digital Transformation, in collaboration with the Youth Training and Employment Partnership (YTEPP), launched a functional Digital Literacy Programme.

It was so well received by the public that registration was almost at full capacity on Saturday, the ministry said in a news release on Saturday.

Minister of Digital Transformation, Hassel said while he is not surprised at the uptake, he is encouraged by the response from the public, who welcomed the opportunity for personal and national advancement with open arms.

The functional digital literacy programme is in its first cycle and will be followed by many more offerings from the Ministry under its Digital Skills suite of projects. It is leveraging partnerships with training and development agencies and organisations to deliver this programme.

As the Digital Skills programme of the Ministry expands during the year, courses in digital literacy for intermediate and advanced participants will be rolled out, in collaboration with organisations with whom GoRTT already has enterprise agreements, as well as with other skills training providers, the ministry said.

Different demographic groups will be targeted, using specialised delivery formats and classes for persons over 65 and for younger students. These will feature various subjects including robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality and virtual reality(AR/VR).

“We are working ‘towards our digital future', and a large part of our vision relies on providing opportunities for as many of our people as possible to interact with technology in meaningful ways, to understand the capabilities of the smart devices we use, and to feel empowered to participate in the digital world,” said Bacchus.

In its first stage, the Functional Digital Literacy course with YTEPP Limited will be available in a fully online format and will focus on topics such as: using the computer to access the Internet safely; using the Internet efficiently and sending electronic mail (e-mail); creating a Microsoft Word document; using Microsoft at the basic level; completing and submitting online forms; and utilising online government services.

According to findings of the 2021 Digital Inclusion Survey by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT), more than 70 per cent of households have a working fixed broadband Internet service (fixed Internet subscription).

The cultural shift that the Ministry of Digital Transformation aims to achieve, is citizens' understanding of the potential and uses of the Internet as a basic good/service, and harnessing its creative and economic potential for digital transformation, said the ministry.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation and YTEPP Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the provision of digital and life skills training for 1,000 citizens in the first instance. The delivery of the virtual “Functional Digital Literacy” course is via online platform Moodle.

For those registrants who do not have access to devices for online learning, such as desktop computers or laptops, or a reliable Internet connection, arrangements will be made for them to use the Ministry's ICT Access Centres and YTEPP Centres located across Trinidad and Tobago.

Many more people will be able to take advantage of the free digital training as the programme significantly ramps up in the coming weeks and months, the ministry said.

Bacchus was appointed Minister of Digital Transformation on July 12, 2021, after serving as Minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Digital Transformation from August, 2020.

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