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16.04.2004 General News

Aliu commissions ICT lab for Afienya Youth Institute

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Accra, April 16, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama, on Friday, commissioned a Computer Laboratory and Refurbishment Centre for the Afienya Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institute (AYLTI) and urged the youth to utilize the opportunities offered by ICT to develop their skills.

He said it was important for the youth to acquire skills in ICT because ICT drives the global wheel of progress, adding, "in today's world, those who fail to join the process risk extinction." Vice President Mahama said it is in recognition of this trend that the Government had initiated policies and programmes to integrate ICT in education and the overall development agenda.

He, therefore, commended the Global Technology Academy and the Garfield Technology Academy of the United States for assisting AYLTI to set up the computer laboratory.

The gesture follows a visit of the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu to the Pacific Institute, Seattle, US last September.

As part of the package, two tutors accompanied eight students of Garfield Academy to AYLTI to train 30 Ghanaian students and five teachers from four institutions to refurbish computers.

In two weeks, the trainees, who are now trainers, had sessions in computer networking, electrical installation skills, basic micro-computing skills, among other subjects. The benefactors also donated 127 computers as part of a 500 consignment.

Vice President Mahama described the gift as a great sacrifice, saying that such partnerships foster international understanding and goodwill.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said his Ministry had appealed for assistance from the benefactors to assist youth institutions to be able to assemble computers, wall clocks, mobile phone sets and calculators. He announced that youth training institutions would soon be given between 100 million and 500 million cedis from the Youth Fund to mobilize their graduates into groups to bid for contracts from district assemblies.

The Minister said the programme would enable the trained youth to gain work experience and some resources for a few years before working for themselves.

Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, Minister of Communications and Technology, called for advocates to champion the cause of children without access to education, saying ICT would serve as a catalyst for their development. Mr Kjell Rye, lead tutor from Garfield, said his side had learned some cultural values from their Ghanaian counterpart that would make them appreciate the world better.

Mr Evans Kwesi Nkum, Head of AYLTI, said funding from the Government for the workforce programme would enable the beneficiaries to secure jobs in agriculture, carpentry, welding and fabrication and building and construction.