Young Women Receive ICT Bursaries from TATT
|(From left, front row) Bursary recipients, Allison Andrews (COSTAATT); Jamila Jankie (UTT); Cheryl Peters (UTT); April Reid (UWI); Opal James (COSTAATT) and Melissa Hee Chung (UWI). (From left, back row) Ms. Sherry Ann Sealy, Human Resource Manager; Ms. Sherry Mc Millan, Executive Officer Communications, Consumer and Information Services; Mrs. Cynthia Reddock-Downes, Executive Officer Finance & Administration; Mr. Karamchand Perai, Executive Officer Technical Services and Development; Ms. Nievia Ramsundar, Corporate Secretary and Mr. Cris Seecheran, TATT's Chief Executive Officer.
For six young women pursuing academic goals in the field of information and communication technology (ICT), their journeys were made a lot easier in November 2012 with the award of bursaries, each valued TT$7,500 from the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT).
TATT held a presentation function on November 15th, 2012 at its Barataria office for the young women from the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT), the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Campus.
"We are very pleased to distribute the first set of bursaries, each valued $7,500 to six female students," said TATT's Chief Executive Officer Cris Seecheran to the audience of students, parents and representatives of the respective educational institutions.
He added: "TATT anticipates that this initiative will bear fruit in the future to help strengthen this country's cadre of female ICT professionals."
The bursaries were provided as part of TATT's World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) 2012 key initiative. Every year, TATT, as Trinidad and Tobago's regulatory body for the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors, recognises WTISD, an annual, themed event of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The ITU is the United Nations body responsible for ICTs.
This year's theme is Women and Girls in ICT.
"TATT decided that the best way to commemorate WTISD this year would be to provide tangible support in the form of bursaries to female students pursuing ICT-related programmes," Mr. Seecheran explained.
The TATT initiative was launched on May 17th, 2012 and the six young women were selected by the three tertiary-level institutions based on their performance at the end of the 2011/2012 academic year. The bursary initiative is a two-year effort and the students will receive a second cheque for the following academic year providing they maintain their high levels of performance in 2012/2013 academic year.
"I feel very good about receiving the bursary," said recipient Melissa Hee Chung, a student at UWI. Ms. Hee Chung said she was pleasantly surprised to receive the phone call from the university telling her about the bursary.
Mr. Seecheran told the young women "by the end of your course of study the ICT environment both globally and locally would have evolved even further-as that is the nature of this sector-continually and quickly transforming to meet the demands of
private and corporate consumers for faster technologies that can perform a wider range of complex tasks."
"In Trinidad and Tobago TATT continues to work towards the development of the local ICT sector through a range of initiatives. A developed environment and increased demand equals an increase in the number of providers of various types of telecommunications and broadcasting services which should mean an increase in job opportunities," Mr. Seecheran added.
In closing, Mr. Seecheran encouraged the young women to stay on the path of a career in ICTs:
"In the event any of you are harbouring second thoughts about their chosen field, please dismiss them-for as long as human beings desire to communicate with each other and be entertained, there will be the need for ICT professionals."