15th ICT Access Centre opens in Cascade

Monday 21st August 2023 marked the official opening of the ICT Access Centre for the St. Anns, Hololo, Cascade community. This newest Centre forms part of an ongoing partnership between the Ministry of Sport and Community Development and the Ministry of Digital Transformation. The Cascade ICT Access Centre, which is located inside the Community Centre, is the 15th ICT Access Centre to open in an ICT-underserved area in Trinidad.

While engaging with the residents, Minister of Digital Transformation, Senator the Honourable Hassel Bacchus shared exciting initiatives and activities that the Ministry has delivered through ICT Access Centres over the past twelve months. These include the Ministry’s ongoing ICT Vacation Camp for preteens, teenagers, and seniors and training opportunities in areas like functional digital literacy through partnerships with the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP).

He urged residents to take advantage of the possibilities available at ICT Access Centres, “ICT enthusiasts in the area already expressed willingness to train and mentor young persons in computer and laptop repair and refurbishment,” he shared.

The Cascade ICT Access Centre is equipped with access to Wi-Fi internet, desktop computers, laptops, webcams, headsets, printing facilities, and a multimedia training room to facilitate learning opportunities such as Spanish related technology lessons. It is also staffed by residents within the community, and its environs and who are familiar with the needs, interests, and special circumstances of Cascade, St. Anns, and Hololo. 

At the opening, residents of various demographics gathered in the multimedia training room to learn ICT-related Spanish words and play an interactive online game called Spanish Jeopardy with Mr. Maurice Joseph, a Digital Learning Facilitator in the Performance and Engagement Unit at the Ministry. 

“I enjoyed learning about technology in Spanish, it inspired me to want to learn more and I can see the ICT centre having positive effects in my community,” said Joshua Leith, entrepreneur, and Cascade resident. 

Young residents were also exposed to flying mini drones, coding stem spheres, and using augmented reality to animate their drawings to life. RSC (Restore a Sense of I Can) representatives Harsh Ramdass and Dillion Mungalsingh also attended the opening and helped engage with youths in the Cascade community.  RSC is a non-profit tech organization that is helping to deliver segments at MDT’s ongoing ICT Vacation Camp.

Anna-Marie Francis, a 13-year-old from St. Anns shared her experience interacting with the technology, “I thought it was really fun, we got to do coding and I was able to fly a drone and played bowling with a mini stem ball and played games. Overall, it was really fun and I definitely would visit the centre again.”

The Cascade Community Council was also pleased with the facilities at the ICT Access Centre. Ms. Wendy Perriera Aqui, Assistant Secretary of the Cascade Community Council remarked that she has an IT background and felt pleased when she learned about the privacy and protection methods that are put in place at the ICT Access Centre. 

For more information please contact the Engagement and Behavioural Communications Unit of the Ministry of Digital Transformation via email: communications@mdt.gov.tt

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