Many do not know how to use cell phones to advance their careers
With COVID-19 having the world in various lockdowns, the education sector is greatly affected. Although many parents do not work full time and the children are at home most of the time, I expected a big improvement. In fact, this is not the case, even though the government is doing its best to ensure that there is no expiration. All the efforts were visible and the government is ensuring that all methods are used and that new methods are explored.
Many parents and children could be seen going to schools to submit the work children do at home which they received either through worksheets or via the Internet. Data usage has increased tremendously, as most of the work and research is done through the Internet.
Editor, many parents and children can be seen moving around with cell phones on a daily basis, and some attention can be drawn to their phones as they move from place to place. Of course, one would assume that they are quite familiar with cell phone use and are quite adept at surfing the internet after spending so much time online. Much to my dismay, that expectation was shattered recently based on my experience which I will describe below.
Due to the confinement, many courses are offered online either for free or for a small fee. In some cases, scholarships are offered by many universities and even the government of Guyana in collaboration with other universities offers the GOAL scholarships. It should be noted that many of the courses offered require minimum qualifications or no qualifications. Knowing that this can be a rare opportunity, in all the places I frequent I have informed the young people of the opportunities that exist and I have informed them of the benefits. Many seemed interested and I even started passing the links to them so they could sign up or explore their options. To my amazement, when following up to see if they are pursuing the opportunity, everyone had an issue and in most cases the same issues. Because everyone has a cell phone, I assumed they would be able to go through the process easily. Instead, their complaints are that they can’t find the sites (even though I send them the links), can’t navigate the sites, or they have trouble signing up. Many don’t even have an email address and don’t know how to sign up for one! Nonetheless, I managed to help many of them and advised them to make the effort to continue their education. a lot of qualified people in Guyana, and if we are not prepared to compete with them for jobs, we will end up at a disadvantage. Currently, many opportunities exist and many more will emerge to allow us to deepen our knowledge / skills. The way I see it, the government of Guyana is making every effort to ensure that it is easily accessible and that there is equal opportunity for everyone and that everyone should seize the opportunities presented to them. To me, it doesn’t make sense to someone who walks around with the most expensive phone and doesn’t know how to use it except for Facebook, WhatsApp or making Tik Tok videos when that same cell phone might be used to improve his career!
This tells me that we have a long way to go.