KINGSTON – A total of 154 persons have received certification in various competencies under an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Capacity Development Project between the Governments of Jamaica and India.
The students, who were presented with their documents at a ceremony held on March 17 at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston, are the second batch to be certified with the Indian-based National Institute of Information and Technology (NIIT) since the project began in 2008.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said the ceremony represents the culmination of two years of training of hundreds of Jamaican students by Indian instructors and is an “important link in the historical chain of friendship, common heritage and aspirations of our two countries."
He told the graduates that they have acquired a very important skill and the country was depending on them “to share the knowledge gained towards productive ends and to commit to lifelong learning for the enrichment of self and society."
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator, the Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, said the Government has recognised the need to support technical training and education in ICT for capacity building in the Jamaican workforce.
“For this reason, in September 2008, we readily signed, along with the Government of India, a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a special ICT centre here in Jamaica to support the creation and development of a knowledge-based society,” she said.
She expressed the hope to further build on the project with the continued support of the Government of India, noting that such initiatives will assist Jamaica in increasing its global competitiveness and productivity and in attaining the Vision 2030 goal of developed country status by the year 2030.
Senator Malahoo Forte congratulated the graduates on their hard work in achieving ICT certification and encouraged them to continue to hone their skills.
Indian High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Mohinder Grover, said that the graduates are fortunate to have acquired skills in ICT, which is the industry of the future.
“(There is) no activity of human endeavour that you can conceive today, which is not being affected, revolutionised or catalysed by the ICT technology…go with the quest to enhance, enrich, embellish the cutting edge of this emerging technology,” he urged them.
The ICT Capacity Development Project was born out of the need to build local ICT training capacity, targeting both higher-level learners to be certified as trainers as well as at-risk and unattached youth.
The Government of India provided equipment including servers and desktops, software, requisite courseware and trainers, while the Government of Jamaica, through HEART Trust/NTA, established the training centre at Excelsior Community College, and provided logistics support, day-to-day management and technical and administrative support.
By ALECIA SMITH, JIS Reporter