Minister of Science and Technology Rupert T Griffith has said young women will join their male counterparts in effecting transformation as active participants and flourishing contributors in the digital economy premised on their pursuit of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) careers like scientists, aeronautical engineers and business innovators.
He also said the presence of about 350 pupils from 14 schools including Tobago was an indication curriculum areas including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) will soon experience a transformation.
He spoke last Wednesday at the Second Women and Girls in ICT Forum at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port of Spain. The pupils listened to motivational speakers and they visited a plethora of booths where they got informative literature and paraphernalia.
Griffith said: “We are already on the journey of change. You have bolstered my resolve to do even more, because I recognise what we do and what we are trying to advance is neither useless nor insignificant. But rather it can contribute to the foundational work required to develop a truly inclusive and modern society. We must be grateful for the opportunities afforded here to pursue education in diverse fields.”
Griffith added: “Our intention is to encourage and use and apply technology in a manner that will stimulate critical thinking, problem-solving and the development of skills that will help you to absorb new knowledge all your life. I sincerely hope ICT will open your eyes and minds in various ways in which Science and Technology can impact upon your personal life, career, development of your communities and the future development of the country and the world. You are the generation of this Information Age since you are seemingly born with an intrinsic understanding of technology.”
Griffith also said while “50 per cent of households own at least one personal computer while enjoying access to a plethora of radio and television stations, there was still much to be done”.
But he said the nation must rise to the challenge by striving to secure a competitive edge in a world where daily technological advancements reduce today’s innovations to tomorrow’s antiques.
Griffith said: “Let not our small size or our vulnerabilities hinder our drive for success. Rather we must use our strengths to forge a path in a world that is being made increasingly smaller by information and communication technology.”
Griffith called for a minute of silence as an expression of solidarity with the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by Islamic militant group Boko Haram and deprived of their education. Boko Haram means “Western Education is sin”.
He also left everyone with the inspirational quote from 19th-century astronomer Maria Mitchell, “We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire, the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing.”