JIS News

Some 62 persons have graduated from the Clarendon Internet and Computer Services (CINTAC) training programme.
The programme was established as a Community Access Point (CAP) site, which focused on making persons computer literate to enhance their productivity.The graduation ceremony was held yesterday (March 15), at the CINTAC office in May Pen.
Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, who spoke at the ceremony, emphasized that information and communication technology (ICT) had become critical to the island’s sustainability.
He explained that through training programmes, such as those carried out at CINTAC, focus was now being given to developing computer skills required in a successful modern economy.
“Government has long recognised the need to equip Jamaica for competitiveness in the increasingly global environment and to fulfil this mission the government, through my Ministry, has placed a high priority on the implementation of policies and programmes to strengthen our capability in technology and information systems,” he said.
The Minister pointed to several initiatives, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Microsoft Corporation in February of this year, to offer resources for skills training in ICT.
That initiative, a “partners-in-learning programme”,would provide teachers and students with training opportunities, technical support and broader access to technology over the next five years, he explained.
Mr. Paulwell also noted that in December last year, another MOU was signed by the Government and the International Telecommunications Union to introduce distance learning to the high school system through the use of interactive video, television and electronic learning techniques.
He added that through this project, computer laboratories would be established in non-traditional high schools, and lectures and tutorials in a number of subjects would be beamed simultaneously to these schools from one location.
The tutorial sessions, he explained, would allow the schools to benefit from the expertise of some of the best teachers in the island and improve passes at the CXC level.
Mr. Paulwell noted that at the end of March, the Government would be signing an agreement for a loan of about $1 billion from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), that would increase the availability of modern information and technology infrastructure.
The Minister said that $200 million of the amount would be allocated for the establishment of 60 more CAP sites across the island as well as the expansion of existing ones.
Cynthia Harrison, Chairman of the CINTAC Board, noted that operations began in February 2001, in collaboration with the Social Development Commission (SDC).
She said that to date, 1,000 professional and non professional persons have been trained through six-week certificate courses, both at the introductory and advanced levels.

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