The Community Development Department believes the ITS For Teens programme can assist in offering some of the talents and skills needed to combat several of the ills that hinder Barbados’ development.
Programme Coordinator at the Community Development Department, Bridgette Marshall-Griffith, says the programme, which the Department has hosted for the past decade, was specially designed for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 to provide them with another meaningful pastime while on summer recess.
Mrs. Marshall-Griffith explained that over the 10 years of the programme’s existence, it had continued to grow and filled a void for persons who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to access that type of training.
“This year, the programme expanded to include participants from the Government Industrial School, the Holy Innocents Anglican Church and the St. Clements Anglican Church. It caters to over 300 students yearly and continues to attract teenagers from various communities, backgrounds and schools, and with different abilities. This usually results in children working together and forming lasting friendships and bonds,” she added.
According to the Programme Coordinator, one of the key aspects of the programme is its ability to help participants to ‘think outside the box’.
“Every year, the ITS For Teens programme challenges the participants to think creatively, develop analytical skills and explore the many avenues that are available to persons skilled in Information Technology. This year’s projects for participants were geared towards preparing and exploring app-based technology. We took some of the critical mission issues as outlined by Government, as the focal concentration of their efforts in the six weeks allocated to the program.
“We integrated and expanded on training traditionally offered in the Microsoft suite of applications and the Graphics, Web Design and Website building aspects, designed specifically for the teens to culminate into prototypes of app-based solutions. These can be publicised in Exhibition/Expo format and piloted in certain Government agencies,” she suggested.
Mrs. Marshall-Griffith also signaled the Department’s intention to track the progress of the participants of this year’s ITS For Teens programme and shared plans to create an app-based club. This, she said, would strengthen the participants’ knowledge base and promote opportunities for the production of apps for business, entertainment and other social uses.
There are also plans to broaden the teaching modules in at least five resource centers to capture larger participation and boost the cadre of people exposed to smart apps technology.