Female Students Encouraged to be “Hands On” with Latest Technology

Authored by: Llonella Gilbert
Source: Bahamas Information Services
Date: April 29, 2016


NASSAU, Bahamas — Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Senator the Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson told female students attending The Bahamas’ second observance of the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) International Girls in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Day, to engage with women role models and get “hands on” experience with some of the latest technology.

“Do take advantage of the opportunities to meet these pioneering professional women. They are your mentors,” the Attorney General said during the event hosted by the The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) and sponsored at the British Colonial Hilton, Thursday, April 28, 2016.

The Girls in ICT Day is an initiative of the ITU, which started in 2011, and is aimed atempowering and encouraging girls and young women to consider studies and careers in ICT.

During the Girls in ICT Day, the students who came from across the country, interacted and heard from top female professionals in ICT in The Bahamas, and they were exposed to those female students excelling in those subject areas.

Attorney General Maynard-Gibson explained that the ICT sector is the fastest growing sector worldwide.

“Colleges are not producing enough graduates with ICT related degrees to meet the growing demand.  Interestingly, today only 17 per cent of the computer science graduates are women, down from 37 per cent in 1985.

“And, according to the ITU, only 13 per cent of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics workforce is made up of women.  URCA is doing its part to change this.”

She told the students that their options are very exciting and things are changing at warp speed.

The Attorney General also noted that the ITU has named New Providence the world’s first Smart Island.

“We see ourselves as the world’s first Smart Archipelago. Last week, in San Salvador and Cat Island, the Deputy Prime Minister and I re-launched the program that enables certified copies of birth certificates and other documents to be issued in the Family Islands.

“It is possible within five minutes to get a certified copy of a birth certificate in your own community.”

She added, “I was so moved when people told me that no longer would they have to travel by mail boat or Bahamasair to Nassau to obtain these documents – certified copies of these documents.”

The Attorney General said the documents are in the Registrar General’s database and every citizen and all within the country should be able to interact directly with government on the internet.

“The internet creates incredible opportunities.”

She said this will be important for the students as they too will be able to do business this way but because, more importantly, they will be developing the APPS and other technologies to affect the ease of doing business.

Attorney General Maynard-Gibson encouraged the female students to study hard in their science classes, because they must be comfortable with and understand technology.

“Lawyers must understand cyber security and cyber crime and the practice of law is totally different today,” she explained.

“When I started practice in 1980, typewriters were used. Today clients are using internet templates for many matters- bypassing lawyers – and lawyers are drafting documents on their Smart Phones.

“Doctors are performing robotic surgery from one location on patients in another location. The molecular structure of tumors is being analyzed to specifically treat the tumor.  It is believed that this approach to medicine may already have led to a cure for AIDS,” the Attorney General said.