HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti has inaugurated an information and communication technology (ICT) unit at a Doha Metro compound where Qatar Rail labourers live, marking the completion of the first 100 ICT facilities as planned for Phase 2 of the ministry’s Better Connections Programme.
Inaugurating the 100th ICT facility takes the number of worker beneficiaries beyond 50,000 who are now able to perceive, use and benefit from information and communication technology where they live, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has said in a press statement.
Having access to ICT tools, the labourers learn how to stay connected with their friends and families, in addition to learning new digital skills.
The event was organised by the ministry and witnessed by HE the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Dr Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi as well as stakeholder and programme partner representatives.
The Better Connections Programme is an initiative designed to include migrant workers with little to no ICT skills in Qatar’s digital society by ensuring that they have access to ICT and the Internet where they live.
The event also saw the launch of “Hukoomi for Migrant Workers” – a portlet within the Qatar e-government portal, Hukoomi, where workers can easily access all information and services they need in five languages: Arabic, English, Hindi, Nepalese and Tagalog.
The multilingual portlet dedicated to workers is the outcome of collaboration between the MoTC, Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs and several other ministries and government bodies concerned with providing services to the workforce in Qatar.
In his opening remarks, HE al-Sulaiti said: “All that we see is part of the ministry’s Digital Inclusion Strategy that aims to enhance a digital culture among citizens and residents across Qatar, particularly those who have little to no ICT skills. The goal is to make sure that pretty much everyone has access to ICT tools. That’s what we could call success based on the vision of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani towards building a better nation. It also observes our social responsibility commitment towards migrant workers.”
Reem al-Mansoori, the ministry’s assistant undersecretary of Digital Society Development, said in a presentation that it was crucial to remain updated on today’s digital revolution by enhancing the digital skills of all sections of the society. This would help contribute to building the modern society effectively and boosting the smart cities transformation concept over the coming years.
Speaking on the Better Connections Programme, she said: “It not only aims to provide spaces equipped with ICT tools and Internet connectivity where workers live, but also trains them in how to use ICT through a group of volunteers.”
Over the past year, al-Mansoori said, the ministry has been keen to broaden the scope of the programme and number of beneficiaries by forging partnerships with several public and private institutions and civil society organisations.
“The programme has been receiving great feedback from beneficiary workers and employers,” she added.
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