Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 14 December 2017 08:09

NFMU Donates Raspberry Pi kits to ICT beneficiaries

news 20171214 1Yesterday the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) donated four Raspberry Pi kits to North Ruimveldt Secondary School; Vryheid’s Lust Secondary School; Girls in ICT organization; and the Robotics Club of the University of Guyana.

The ceremony was held at the Computer Science laboratory at the University of Guyana (UG), Turkeyen, Campus.
Mellisa Layne, a representative of NFMU delved into the purpose and usage of the Raspberry Pi.
“When we think of computers we think of this box here; we think of a laptop. The Raspberry Pi is actually a single core computer. It has the power of a computer; you can do all the things you can do on a computer, but it is not in a case, does not have a monitor, or a keyboard and mouse attached to it.”
“It was created in that way to save on cost. All of that plastic and metal [of a conventional computer] has a cost, making [the] availability of computers to everyone actually less because you have to be in a certain income bracket.”
“The Raspberry Pi Foundation was started in the United Kingdom as a way of making computer programming and computers available to persons in high schools and developing countries.”
Layne said that they are looking forward to making more donations in the future to support their vision of Computer Science being bigger in Guyana. Each of the Raspberry Pi costs US$70.
Managing Director of NFMU, Valmikki Singh, in his remarks highlighted the growth of Information Communications Technology (ICT) in Guyana. He said that NFMU is happy to be making the donations to the recipients.
Mr. Singh said that it is his belief that Computer Science is bigger than oil and gas, which is currently trending. He believes that Computer Science should be a mandatory part of primary education because it plays an important role in people’s lives especially with most of what we do becoming digitalized.
He said that NFMU has been growing over the years and is looking forward to making more of these donations.
Dr. Barbara Reynolds, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of University of Guyana (Planning and International Engagement) also stated that she believes Computer Science is important. She related to the audience that when she was younger that there were three basic subject foundations: Mathematics, ‘Civics’ and Language.
A fourth is needed Dr. Reynolds said, and she believes it should be technology and the introduction of Computer Science as one of the fundamentals in primary education. She explained that if students are able to understand the basics of computers at an early age it would be easier when they get to the secondary and tertiary level.
She also explained that new technology is influencing the way things are done in this era and it is evident in the new electronic way we pay our bills, and even some home appliances.
Catherine Hughes, Minister of Telecommunications, said that we are in a new time, a new place with new technology and we are not prepared. She said that the biggest challenge in being prepared is that some persons do not welcome the change because of various reasons.
She said that some persons do not believe that certain things could happen in Guyana and they often oppose any change because of their unbelief.
Alicia Layne, Computer Science lecturer and Advisor to Girls in ICT said that the donation would be an asset to the Girls in ICT initiative.
Head of Department for Computer Science at UG, Penelope DeFreitas also expressed her gratitude. She related to Kaieteur News that the Robotics Club at the University of Guyana only had two kits that had to be used by 30 persons. They had a complete Lego EV3 kit and a partial set for a Raspberry kit. The new addition she said is much welcomed by the club.
“The Robotics Club already has activities planned for the entire academic year. We have just about two kits. We had already started to fill that gap by reaching out to private entities for support. So this is actually giving us a lot more motivation to reach out.”
“NFMU, they have also told us that they can offer more support so we look forward to these kinds of collaboration and also to work with them in spreading awareness about Girls in ICT, encouraging more girls to take up professions in the field.”


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