The much-talked-about Information and Communications Technology Summer Program was officially launched on Wednesday afternoon at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) in Grand Bahama.
Students were joined by parents in a crowded auditorium, while Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Kwasi Thompson excitedly touted the program that will give young Bahamians an opportunity for free education in an industry that is quickly expanding in Grand Bahama.
“Anyone who knows me, knows that I am very passionate about technology,” Thompson told the BTVI student body, along with other guests.
“I’m not only passionate about technology, but I’m passionate about what technology means for Grand Bahama.
“For so many years we’ve been focused on tourism and industry and while both of those products have served us well, there is one lesson that the hurricane taught us: the people of Grand Bahama must have a third pillar. And technology is the thing that will drive us into the future.”
Thompson said that what they have envisioned for the program over the next three years is that when the students taking part have completed the program, they would have obtained international ICT certifications, even before completing high school. “What we are doing here today is giving you a 100 percent chance of employment,” he said.
“Not only will you be given the certifications, but you will be able to participate in the summer job program as well.
“In essence, the students taking part in the certification program will be paid the same stipend as those who are taking part in the summer job program. We will actually be paying you to go to school and become certified.
“This is a tremendous opportunity.”
The Information and Communications Technology program is designed to begin training students leaving the ninth grade of high school. The program is being offered at both BTVI Grand Bahama and Nassau campuses. Once the program continues, it will be offered in summer 2019 and will end during the academic year of 2019/20.
“I want the young people of Grand Bahama to take full advantage of this program,” he admonished.
“It is a once in a lifetime program. We are believing in you, and we know that you can accomplish this. “You are our future and we are putting the things in place for you to succeed. All we need you to do is to step into the door of success.”
This article was written by ANDREW COAKLEY, Bahamas Information Services.