Investing in young people to become the next entrepreneurs
Great attention is paid to the fate of our students before the reopening of the traditional start of the school year on September 4.
The covid19 pandemic continues to threaten to derail the entire education system without, dismally, any clear consensus or leadership on the issue of immunization.
Shortages of basic equipment such as laptops and tablets continue to distort the virtual classroom, highlighting serious gaps in public procurement and putting pressure on communities and the private sector to play a bigger role – which they might not be able to do under the current economic circumstances.
In addition, the rumblings among teachers and their unions about a multitude of changes and classroom management plans have made the situation even more volatile, especially since the feeling that the need for concertation is over. not sufficiently taken into account, as well as the position taken against the State in terms of vaccination.
So it’s good to see the business world paying attention to developing the skills of young people, skills that could help them take small steps towards the big and exciting possibilities that lie just beyond the miasma of the current confusion.
One example is a recent two-day workshop organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Trinidad and Tobago (Amcham) for students aged 13-18. About 50 students took introductory courses on basic coding concepts as well as music theory.
“Ultimately, the goal is to provide increased opportunities to unleash the talents and skills of our citizens so that we create the next generation of artist engineers, tech entrepreneurs and business leaders who would be essential. to building TT’s technology ecosystem, ”said Amcham CEO Nirad Tewarie. “To be honest, we really want to show kids that learning something new can be fun too.”
Mr. Tewarie highlighted the benefits of knowing coding in today’s job market as well as its transferable skills. Coding is useful, for example, in music production.
“Coding is a skill that teaches problem-solving logically and creatively, improves interpersonal skills, develops creativity, and builds the ability to bounce back from failure more quickly,” Tewarie said.
This initiative – which has also been supported by artists like Nailah Blackman and DJ Robbie of Kes the Band – is a prime example of the kind of doors that need to be opened for our young people, in a situation where learning opportunities are increasing. and more difficult. . No wonder nearly 500 students from 120 schools asked to be included.
Another example, although involving a radically different kind of technology, of an initiative rewarding young people with new skills is the state-sponsored Grow it Yourself vegetable garden competition.
Young people are not afraid to adopt different ways of doing familiar things, as evidenced by Nikolai Hart Hopley’s aquaponics garden, which won him first place in Tobago in the competition.
Mr. Hart Hopley used YouTube, among other things, to learn how to develop a system that grows patchoi, lettuce, mint and chives, proving that the classroom is not the only learning space. and that young people need support in more than one way. .