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Wooding: Tech education essential to help youth create future

Published: 
Saturday, August 2, 2014

Gerard Best

Increasing the competitiveness of T&T’s software industry should be a priority for the sustainable development of the nation’s nascent information technology (IT) sector. This was the call from Bevil Wooding, Executive Director of BrightPath Foundation.

Wooding was speaking at an interview after the closing ceremony of TechCamp 2014, a two-week technology education camp targeting 10 to 15 year olds.

“Software development is an essential skill for the digital generation. Education in the fundamentals coding helps us secure our place in the technology-based economies of the future.”

Countries like the UK, India, South Korea, Japan and China put a high premium on teaching computer programming to students, he said.

“Technology education is viewed as a critical part of the diversification of their economies and the safeguarding of future growth opportunities. Countries in the Caribbean have to step up training in software and technology education in primary, secondary and tertiary levels.”

The TechCamp was held at the Cipriani College of Labour & Cooperative Studies. 50 participants were given an opportunity to interact with industry practitioners and real-world tech innovators. They were exposed to a range of hands-on activities from digital photography and music production to digital animation and building robots. 

BrightPath Foundation is already working with the Caribbean Examination Council, and Ministries of Education across the region to share both the content and approaches used to present technology concepts to youngsters across the region, he said.

“Without deliberate steps being taken at the national policy level, we simply will not realise the potential we have to develop the inventions and innovations that take us into our future. And unless technology education is integrated into national education curricular, it will be difficult for students to find the motivation or support to develop their full potential. We must all do our part help them create the future.”