GEORGETOWN, Guyana (Tuesday, December 1, 2020) — Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, this morning, underscored the importance of utilising Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the education sector, noting that the government is committed to its development.
His comments were part of his featured speech at the launch of the 2020 Hackathon competition at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Lilienthal, in Greater Georgetown.
The Hackathon, under the theme “Digitising our education system for 2020 and beyond”, is being executed under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister, through its Industry and Innovation Unit.
Prime Minister Phillips said that the delivery of education is a top priority of the government, and it will be enhanced with the use of technology.
“Our government understands the importance of ICT in the education sector, and we are working on a series of initiatives that will enhance our current system,” he stated.
“Activities, like this Hackathon, will assist us in creating an enabling environment to achieve this mandate, by providing a platform that allows for the creation of software and applications that are relevant to our national needs, while, at the same time, promoting a culture of innovation.”
The PM added that the government is dedicated to developing an ICT-equipped society that will create employment and a range of opportunities for Guyanese.
He pointed to the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector as a step in that direction.
“The government is committed to developing an ICT-equipped society…technology is the tool that will provide that balance, needed to weather the storm we now face, and to prepare us for what is to come.
“We must be able to use the new opportunities that liberalisation brings to transform Guyana’s economy into one that is driven and supported by technological advancements,” Prime Minister Phillips said.
In his remarks, Shahrukh Hussain, Director of the Industry and Innovation Unit, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for ICT.
“With this in mind, in this years’ Hackathon, we are trying to attempt to provide a solution for the education system…the goal is to use ICT to make learning easier for all the students of Guyana,” he explained.
Twenty-one teams will compete, from December 5 to 7, to produce a functional student record information system software application that can be used by the Ministry of Education to digitise its registration and records system.
The winning team will receive a cash prize of $500,000, while the second and third place teams will collect $350,000 and $250,000 respectively.