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MANDEVILLE — A total of 280 secondary school teachers, who successfully completed training under the e-Learning Jamaica Project, have received certification in basic computer skills, which will enable them to integrate information and communication technologies in their lesson plans.

The teachers, from 16 schools across six parishes, were presented with their certificates at a graduation ceremony held last week at the Church Teachers’ College in Mandeville. They have gained competences in operating a personal computer, word processing, spreadsheet elements, database management, PowerPoint presentations, among other areas.

Senior Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Sonia Madden, told the graduates that the skills they have garnered will assist the teaching process.

She said it is prudent that teachers grasp every opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge especially in this age of technology. “We must rise to the occasion to use all available efforts and resources to positively impact the teaching/learning process. No longer are we comfortable with only books, but now gravitate to the computer for information and communication,” she stated.

Consultant to the Mico e-learning Project, Wesley Barrett, in commending the graduates, also urged them to use their newfound skills to empower their students.

He noted that investment in technology training of teachers will redound to the benefit of the education system.

“When technology and knowhow are placed in the hands of creative and results-oriented teachers, we must regard that as one of the best investment in the education system. Having the knowhow and having the technology in the schools, and being creative, must be what Jamaica needs at this point in time,” he stated.

Guest speaker at the graduation and General Manager for IBM Jamaica, Stephen Meghoo, also encouraged the teachers to use technology to help students to learn.

A project of the Government of Jamaica, the e-Learning Jamaica Project is an innovative educational initiative, which utilises ICT in the delivery of subjects.

It is targeted at high school students and employs both formal and informal methods of teaching. The objectives are to improve the quality of education, enhance the learning experience, and ensure high levels of passes in the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) tests.

Since 2009, a total of 3,970 secondary level teachers have been trained in the delivery of technology under the programme.

The participants, who are trained and assessed in accordance with the established academic standards of the Mico University College, are required to attend at least 80 per cent of all scheduled classes in order to qualify for certification.

           

By GARFIELD L. ANGUS