BPTT has partnered with technology summit holders Tech Beach to launch the NextGen Tech Education Coding Camps. The camps will host 60 children between the ages of 13 and 19 and will feature speakers such as Mandela Patrick, research assistant at Facebook and Mark Moyou, data scientist at US software company Lucidworks.
Ronda Francis, BPTT's corporate responsibility manager, spoke at the launch's media conference, held earlier today at the Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, and encouraged the participants to embrace technology. She added that she hopes other countries can look at the initiative and take the leap forward into technology as well.
Tech Beach co-founder Kyle Maloney said the camps will help begin pushing the talent of TT youth out into the rest of the world. "What we're doing here is a small drop in the bucket to begin defining what our place in the world will be. It's a small drop but it's a necessary one," he said. He added that the camps will foster the changes that have yet to happen in the education system. "The school education system still has not prepared us for the world that is to come. I hope that this is the start of something really special."
Minister of Education Anthony Garcia was also present at the launch and said his ministry recognises the need for Information Communications Technology (ICT) in all schools and added that all students at the primary, secondary and tertiary level should have the opportunity to engage in ICT. He said that his ministry has created a five star ICT plan that will ensure a governance structure over all ICT initiatives, provide an over arching ICT structure, ensure ICT tools become accessible to schools, update the curriculum to support ICT learning and provide training for teachers to enhance ICT learning methodisation.
The first phase of the camp will be held at the BPTT Hospitality Suite at the Queen's Park Oval from today to next Wednesday. The camp's second phase will be held at the BPTT Mayaro Resource Centre, Mayaro from next Thursday to the following Monday. Out of the camp's 60 participants, five will be trained to be instructors for future camps and initiatives.