Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Huawei Seeds for the Future Programme reaps success

Published:Sunday | November 14, 2021 | 12:08 AM

Country Manager of Huawei Jamaica , Andy Deng and Professor Dale Webber, principal of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, with the recipients of last year’s Seeds for the Future programme.
Country Manager of Huawei Jamaica , Andy Deng and Professor Dale Webber, principal of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, with the recipients of last year’s Seeds for the Future programme.

Since kicking off on October 22, the annual Seeds for the Future programme has seen over 25 Jamaicans registered and participating in the educational and cultural-exchange programme with Huawei. The number has increased by over 100 per cent since last year, with 45 per cent of the participants being females. Huawei’s VP of Public Affairs and Communication for Central America and the Caribbean, Allen Chen, said he is happy with the response to the programme.

“Jamaica has always performed very well in the Seeds for the Future programme. Huawei, with this new edition of Seeds for the Future, has trained more than 9,000 students in more than 130 countries worldwide in the ICT sector, reaffirming its mission to provide educational opportunities for young people in the region,” Chen said.

The participating class consists of a total of 112 students from Ghana (58), Jamaica (29), Trinidad and Tobago (20), and Suriname (five). Ten of the Jamaican students (which includes three students from UWI and seven from Utech) have won the award for the Tech4Good Group Project in this participating class.

CULTURAL EXCHANGE

University of the West Indies student Maria McKenzie said: “The cultural exchange, in my opinion, was one of the best parts of the programme. Learning about the different cultures made the experience more fulfilling for me. Yes, we all love technology, but we should also appreciate the people behind the technology and their backgrounds. I have learnt many things about cloud computing, leadership, and AI, and so on. But I found that learning about AI was really interesting. Teaching machines how to adapt and learn from us is really fascinating.”

Three mandatory courses were covered and included Introduction to 5G (entry Level), Introduction to Cloud Computing (entry Level), and Overview of Artificial Intelligence (Entry Level). Additionally, fourteen hours of live-stream sessions with experts in leadership, Huawei Exhibition Hall Virtual Tour, Cross-Cultural Exchange, and China insight, learning of Chinese kung-fu and hot technologies, were also completed.

All participating students were able to access and explore other topics on the Huawei learning platform on topics including but not limited to the following:

- Discovering Huawei

- Advanced technologies - trending businesses

- Culture awareness

Khamali Powell, a student at The University of Technology, said the best part of this experience was the crosscultural interaction as well as how informative the sessions were. “The cultural-exchange session was of particular note as I learned so much about the other cultures as well as getting the opportunity to share the Jamaican culture and nuances that may not be conveyed in other more formal settings. I learned a lot, particularly some detailed information about 5G, its infrastructure, goals, and progress so far as well as how it intends to connect the world. I also appreciated the AI courses, especially since I have self-taught experience in AI specifically machine learning,” he said.

At the launch of the event, Fayval Williams, minister of education lauded the programme.

“The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is committed to ensuring that none of our students is left behind as we seek to bridge the education divide,” she said. “It is within this context that we welcome and applaud Huawei Technologies for this project. It is perfectly in line with our efforts to deepen our students’ exposure to ICT and its great possibilities.”