|Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett|
The preservation of the environment and service to others will be the focus of 220 teenagers participating in this year’s ITS for Teens programme under the theme Things We Can Do.
The summer technology programme, which is being conducted by the Community Development Department in collaboration with LIME, will be staged at 16 community centres across the island for the next six weeks.
According to Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, the programme’s content is designed to be "appealing and more meaningful to students."
His comments were made during the launch of the programme at the Speightstown Resource Centre, earlier today.
He indicated that the themes each year have "a social development focus which helps young participants to seriously consider developing positive lifestyles and good interpersonal social practices."
Mr. Blackett pointed out that it was introduced due to the "increasing emphasis [which was] being placed on the development of our youth as well as in recognition of the many social and educational challenges they face".
Minister Blackett noted that the centres which were chosen to host the classes were located in densely populated areas, and ephasised that there was always a favourable response by residents. He stated that: "Increasing levels of interest are registered annually from parents and adolescents alike," and reasoned that "it allows for children from all different communities to work together and share good ideas."
Adding that the programme had significantly contributed to the participants’ personal and national development, the Community Development Minister stressed that: "The programme has been successful in closing the gap between those who have the financial means to access technology and those who do not…It exposes teenagers to the many benefits of IT; it enhances IT skills; and facilitates creativity, innovation and networking."
He, however, placed a call to this island’s service clubs, faith-based organisations, tertiary institutions, corporate citizens and other individuals to provide the "on-going mentorship, guidance and support" which the teenagers would require after completing the programme.