ndustry 4.0, Are You Ready?”, this question is not only on the minds of many but also this year’s theme for the 2nd annual STEM and Computer Science Week. As technological advancements constantly change the way we live and do business, it is vital for students to be at the cusp of this technological wave. With cutting edge advancements there is not only a strong requirement for technological training in schools at an earlier age but also vocational training as well.
The program, a yearly event led by CODE.org is focused on building in-roads for students to learn to write computer code and to be more involved with technology training programs. Driven by the initiatives of iLabGlobal Inc., ACT and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the STEM & Computer Science Education Week, promotes computer science and directs the youth of Antigua and Barbuda towards careers in the field of technology.
This year’s STEM & Computer Science Education week began on Tuesday 4th December at the ICT Cadet Training Facility in Coolidge. The event hosted over 40 secondary school students. A highlight of the event, the “Hour of Code Activity” proved successful and invigorating for many students, as well as the speeches from various insightful keynote speakers.
One such speaker, Andrew Doumith, Business Development Manager of ACT presented on Technology Training and its Effects on Local Businesses. Doumith notes that the advancements in technology forecast a bright future with new jobs, economic growth, innovation, and investment once there is technological training. Businesses must be primed with new training models and programs to ease worker transitions, as well as providing job retraining. With continued collaboration between public and private sectors, individuals can learn new skills through on-the-job training, formal education, and programs such as the STEM and Computer Science Week.
Collaborations such as these, Doumith notes, is a part of ACT’s mandate –
It is the sole mission of ACT to “Bring the Community into the Future”. We see this as a worthy plight to provide the community with aid in the digital transformation that our world is currently experiencing. At ACT we strive to ensure that our community is poised for these advancementsMako Williams, Director of iLab Global, looks towards the future with programs such as these. It was strongly highlighted that the event is not only geared towards students but for anyone from age 8 to 80 years old.
There is an opportunity for everyone to learn how to use this digital landscape. The future plan is to create a summit in Antigua that highlights the importance of our involvement in standard training in schools. Every school in Antigua and Barbuda, in the region, needs to heed the global call to digital skills training.
We do not need to wait for 1st world global organizations to “help”. We need to act on our own behalf and develop an on-going training program to build a skilled workforce.