CARICOM Secretariat welcomes first school tour since COVID 19
(CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana) – Communications and Information Technology staff of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat on Wednesday 3 November engaged with the first group of students to visit the Georgetown, Guyana Headquarters in more than two years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cessation of tours of the Secretariat, which over the years have seen hundreds of students experiencing, first hand, how the CARICOM Secretariat supports the technical and administrative mechanisms of regional integration.
Fifth Form students of Tutorial Academy Secondary School based in New Amsterdam, East Berbice, Guyana were particularly interested in the Integrated Information Systems (IIS) of the Secretariat. To this end, they benefited from a presentation by the Secretariat’s Webmaster, Mr. Christopher Lawrence, on how information technology supports the work and integration of the Directorates, Programmes and Offices in Georgetown, Barbados and Jamaica.
Systems and Network Administrator, Mr. Steveon Thomas apprised the students of the CARICOM Secretariat hardware and software systems, including cloud computing technology, which facilitate efficiency in IIS. He also engaged them in a discussion on the myriad career opportunities in information systems and technology, and the gender neutrality that is emerging in the field.
This was exemplified by IIS Intern Ms. Malissa Grannum, who shared her experience in transitioning from the theory and practice learned in her Bachelors of Science Degree in Computer Science at the University of Guyana, to her internship at the Secretariat. Encouraging the female students not to be intimidated by the male-dominated field, Ms. Grannum told them she is graduating in few days with a distinction, at the top of her class.
Senior Communications Assistant of the Communications Unit, Ms. Tusankine English-Francis, in her interaction with the students about the functions and benefits of CARICOM, situated the Secretariat in the regional integration architecture. She told the students that they should not only see themselves as Guyanese but also as CARICOM nationals, who are actively participating in integration, manifested through their secondary education.
The curriculum for all subject areas is designed by technical experts from across the Region, ensuring the portability of the Caribbean Examinations Council’s (CXC) certificates they will obtain upon completion of Fifth Form, Ms. English-Francis told the students.