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MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2020: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – Technology continues to revolutionize the world and our daily lives and in Trinidad and Tobago, the Digicel Foundation is determined to be part of the movement ensuring that our citizens do not get left behind in this regard. The Foundation launched its Digital Citizenship Programme to over 300 students and teachers on March 4 and 11 at City Hall in Trinidad and the National Library Services in Tobago, respectively. 

The latest phase of this now 3-year old programme began last year, where 18 teachers from various secondary schools throughout the country enrolled and pursued the ‘CISCO IT Essentials’, a course facilitated remotely through the UWI Open Campus IT Academy. After successfully completing their training, each school is now able to establish a Cisco Network Academy, where students can pursue internationally recognized courses in areas such as: cyber security, internet of things and entrepreneurship.

To ensure that schools are well equipped to participate in the initiative, Digicel Foundation distributed 50 desktop computers to three schools at the Trinidad launch - Moruga Secondary, Marabella North Secondary and South East POS Secondary and two schools at the Tobago launch - Mason Hall Secondary School and Speyside High School.  The schools also received the gift of one year’s free Digicel Home and Entertainment high speed fibre broadband.

At both launches, the teachers and their students got the experience of all things technology.  Trinidad attendees were invited to interact with the technology booths displayed by tech partners RSC - Restore a Sense I Can, Wipala Mobile & Data Technology Solutions, Startl Augumented and Virtual Reality Solutions Ltd, and Coded Arts. The booths demonstrated new technology and alternative careers in coding, robotics, virtual reality, and programming.

In Tobago, tech booths were on display by the Tobago Information Technology Limited and the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). Students were impressed with drone technology, robotics, augmented reality, programming and GIS used in their disaster management programme.

Speaking at the Trinidad launch, Dr. the Honourable Lovell Francis, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education expressed admiration for the teachers who got involved in the Digital Citizenship Programme. He praised their dedication to wanting to enable their students to have the opportunity to access technology. In thanking the students for their involvement as well, he said “You have the ability to innovate - have a big idea! The world is yours - make the most of it.”

Also advocating for the world of technology was Jabbor Kayumov, CEO of Digicel T&T Ltd, who noted that, “Today in our world where all things are digital, it is even more important that we give our youth the right tools to participate and excel at a global level, so that they’re not left behind.”

Feature speaker, Mr Kern Rose shared a very insightful background of his personal and professional journey as a mobile expert/blogger of Droid Island. He said, "I urge everybody to find their passions, research all of the problems in that specific niche and tackle them.”

Other persons in attendance at the Trinidad launch event were His Worship the Mayor Alderman Joel Martinez, Desha Clifford, Chairman of Digicel Foundation, Penny Gomez, CEO of Digicel Foundation, Nicholas Low Foon, Regional Sales Manager from CISCO and Gregory Jennings, Head of the UWI Open Campus IT Academy.

Across in Tobago there was major support of the programme with attendance by: Assemblyman Marisha Osmond, Assistant Secretary in the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy, Bernadette Solomon-Koroma, Chief Administrator of the THA, Georgina Peterkin, Director of Digicel Foundation, Feature Presenters - Mauricia Edwards and Pheona Job-Joseph, Keynote, Kurtis Baptiste, Director of ICT in the Division of Division of Education, Innovation and Energy, Nichelle Denoon, Acting Librarian III at the Scarbrough Library, Ian Williams, ICT Manger, Tobago Information Technology Limited and Darlwyn Melville-Westfield ICT Administrator TEMA.

The Digicel Foundation will continue to invest and support sustainable development programmes that empower communities and persons throughout Trinidad and Tobago.