A two-day workshop, to assist regional educators to impart knowledge to students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, began in Dominica on Wednesday. Primary and secondary school teachers were engaged in the workshop which will enhance their professional development.
The Ministry of Education has collaborated with two regional agencies, the Caribbean Science Foundation and the Caribbean Academy of Sciences, to assist teachers to further develop their teaching skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Hon Minister for Education, Peter Saint Jean says that he believes "the focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics is indeed in line with the ministry's objectives to educate and prepare all students to live productive lives in a complex and ever-changing society."
According to Hon Saint Jean, the education ministry has seen the importance of these workshops, which significantly boosts the ability of teachers to share knowledge and deliver high quality teaching and learning experiences.
Saint Jean illustrated how Government continues to invest in the development of Dominica's youth. "One of the clearest examples of our commitment to this is the recent establishment of the centre of excellence in technology at the Dominica State College. On Friday of this week, 150 students will graduate in an inaugural ceremony at the college after completing courses in various information technology related areas. It means that we are meeting our objective to provide ICT for national development," he said.
The Ministry has also placed emphasis on the administering of Science and Mathematics.
"We are also proud of the recent achievements and initiatives in science and mathematics. In fact, there has been focus on mathematics and science instruction. While it is not really a new phenomenon, the Ministry of Education continues to find creative and innovative ways to improve achievement in these important areas. In fact, support officers within the Ministry of Education hold regular training workshops for teachers in the areas of lesson planning and instruction to ensure all students receive the best opportunities to excel," Hon Saint Jean informed.
Dominica Mobile Application Developers To Participate In Regional Mobile Startup Competition
Four teams of entrepreneurs from Dominica are part of the 26 finalist selected to participate in the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge 3.0 scheduled for June 13th – 17th, in St. Kitts & Nevis.
The finalists were selected from over 200 entries from across CARICOM, seeking partnerships, funding and even buyers for their enterprises, all competitors will pitch to a panel of judges and an audience of regional and global investors. The top 26 Startups for the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge include 4 teams from Dominica, 3 teams from Barbados, 7 teams from Trinidad & Tobago, 7 teams from Jamaica, and one each from Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and St. Lucia.
The main objective of the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge is to identify the top 5 growth oriented mobile startups in the Caribbean and to provide acceleration activity support for them. The 26 regional finalists will participate in a three-day boot camp that will prepare them to pitch in front of judges and investors and participate in an intense one-day pitch competition, for the chance to win a prize package valued at $15,000 USD, which includes $5,000 USD in seed funding, placement in a PitchIT Caribbean mHub business accelerator, all expense-paid trip to an international conference or competitions as well as intense product development and investor readiness training.
The National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions (NTRC), the Dominica mobile hub for PitchIT Caribbean, has been working with eleven mobile development startups from Dominica, Grenada and Guyana to provide an intense training course designed to get the entrepreneurs mobile application from idea to reality. Participation in this pre-accelerator program was completely free and provided the mobile entrepreneurs with the opportunity to gain startup funding.
The National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) has partnered with the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project (CMIP) through UWI Consulting in 2016 to host a PitchIT Caribbean mobile hub (mHub) in Dominica. Technology entrepreneurs in Dominica have been able to enter PitchIT Caribbean via the Dominica mHub housed at the NTRC. The entrepreneurs welcomed into the program have been provided with access to a plethora of opportunities including technical, business and project management training, business incubation services, investment readiness boot-camps, mentoring and financial support. Throughout the process, emphasis is placed on real-world business-building, identifying key elements such as target markets and customers. This is the third cycle of the mobile startup pre-accelerator training in Dominica hosted by the NTRC.
Cycle 1 allowed for the NTRC to take one mobile startup company, LinkUp, founded by Daniel Pond and Irus Toussaint to Montego bay Jamaica to participate in the PitchIT Caribbean Startup Challenge. Cycle 2 culminated with the NTRC taking one mobile startup company, BuzzShop (founded by Curwin Breedy and Sade Samuel) to Trinidad and Tobago in December 2016 to participate in the PitchIT Challenge 2.0.
Cycle 3 will culminate with the largest contingent of mobile application entrepreneurs from Dominica participating in the PitchIT Carribean Challenge.
PitchIT Caribbean is a program aimed at enhancing the mobile app development ecosystem across CARICOM. It is designed to accelerate mobile app entrepreneurs through the start-up life cycle, which runs from ideation to pitch, from pitch to market and from market to maturity. It currently supports 4 Hubs, one each in Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad & Tobago.
BMobile Partners With CANTO To Host ICT Expo
While addressing attendees of the 'North Eastern Secondary Schools ICT Expo' at the UTT O'Meara campus, Dr Joseph Jacob, Manager Student Recruitment, University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), said: "ICT is like seasoning in food because you must have it. ICT plays in every aspect of everything we do in every industry,"
The expo was hosted by CANTO (Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations) at the UTT O'Meara campus, under the patronage of the Maxie Cuffie, Minister of Public Administration and Communications, and supported by bmobile.
The expo theme, "Demonstrating ICTs as a Viable Career Choice," was geared at stimulating students to consider careers in ICT, and featured several presenters, including representatives from bmobile, UTT, FLOW, NIHERST, iGovTT among others.
Teresa Wankin, CANTO's Secretary General indicated that the expo demonstrated the wide range of programmes and career choices in the field of ICT and made students more aware of the ICT-based industries that could be targeted for their career choices.
"The ICT sector is the most creative and resilient sector for employment. It is also the fastest growing sector and the only sector that combines with all disciplines. As we move toward an ICT-based knowledge society, we are living in exciting times where creativity and innovation provide entirely new ways of working, interacting and building. The future is bright for you. This expo brings you opportunities that no other generation enjoyed."
Guest speaker Petriann Trancoso, a Big Data and Cloud Computing Expert and Database administrator, used online shopping and the impact it was having on the local retail industry to discuss the pervasiveness of ICT in all industry sectors worldwide and the equalising effect of ICT for local businesses. She stated that local companies must compete globally to remain viable and they need ICT to do this.
The feedback from participants showed that the expo was appreciated. Gail Pierre-Ashing, a guidance officer at Brazil Secondary said the expo was quite informative. "This gave the students the opportunity to broaden their perspective beyond the traditional choices and to include ICT as one of their career options. I also enjoyed visiting the booths which presented more in-depth exposure to the topics discussed." One of her Form Three students, Treangelo Gayah, agreed and said, "I want to be a PE teacher and ICT has a lot of relevance in this field so this expo was quite educational."