Computers for IOJ Junior and Cultural Centres

Photo: JIS Photographer Energy, Science and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • The Universal Service Fund (USF) has allocated a $14.5 million grant for the purchase of 31 computers for the Institute of Jamaica’s (IOJ) junior and cultural centres, to provide greater access to information and communications technology (ICT) for its users.
  • Speaking at the commissioning of the IOJ computer labs and library virtual on April 28 at the East Street Junior Centre in Kingston, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said the Government, through the USF, aims to achieve a system-wide enhancement of administration and education through technology.
  • The computers were distributed among the Institute’s three centres. The East Street Junior Centre was outfitted with eight new computers for its recently established computer lab and seven computers for the library.

The Universal Service Fund (USF) has allocated a $14.5 million grant for the purchase of 31 computers for the Institute of Jamaica’s (IOJ) junior and cultural centres, to provide greater access to information and communications technology (ICT) for its users.

Speaking at the commissioning of the IOJ computer labs and library virtual on April 28 at the East Street Junior Centre in Kingston, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said the Government, through the USF, aims to achieve a system-wide enhancement of administration and education through technology.

“It is imperative for us as a nation that we incorporate technology in our lives. If we do not prepare our citizens in the use of technology, then we will be left behind. We need to create that environment that will allow us to develop a knowledge-based society. We believe that we need to start at the level of the youth, and the three centres that are being supported by the USF are geared towards us achieving that objective,” he said.

The computers were distributed among the Institute’s three centres. The East Street Junior Centre was outfitted with eight new computers for its recently established computer lab and seven computers for the library.

A computer lab was also established at the Institute’s Greater Portmore Junior Centre, which received nine computers. Additionally, the Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre received three computers for its programmes. The rest of the computers will be used by staff of the facilities.

Meanwhile, Director of Projects for the USF, Everold Simms, told JIS News that the grant was also used to purchase computer desks and chairs for the labs and virtual spaces.
Accommodation will also be made for the visually and hearing impaired, the Director said.

In a message from the Chief Executive Officer of USF, Suzette Buchanan, read by Mr. Simms, she said the equipment will enhance community development at the grassroots level.

“While we continue to provide support to community organisations to increase their capacity, we also seek to advance the agenda of increased strategic partnerships for greater impact. We want to ensure that a rich offering of services are available to cater to the many social needs of our citizens,” she said.

Director of the Programmes Coordination Division for the IOJ Junior Centres and Simón Bolívar Cultural Centre, Jacqueline Bushay, said the technology will be integrated into the existing visual and performing arts and reading programmes, to assist with remedial learning.

“We have an existing programme that caters to youngsters 16 to 18 years, so we will start there and move on to the adult programme,” she said.

JIS Social