The country’s 162 high schools have all been equipped with computers and local area network (LAN) facility for Internet access, under the national e-learning project, Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has disclosed.
Minister with Responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, the Hon Daryl Vaz, speaking in the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 28.
The project, which falls under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), is aimed at enhancing the learning environment in the classroom through the incorporation of information and communication technologies (ICT). The project is executed by the e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited (e-LJam), with funding provided by Universal Access Fund Limited (UAF), from levies on international calls to Jamaica.
Speaking in the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate in the House, on July 27, Mr. Vaz informed that, in addition to the 162 schools, six special schools with students with learning and physical challenges, have also been outfitted with equipment and service, among other provisions.
The Minister pointed out that over 40 video lectures were produced last year and delivered to schools, and broadcast on the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ). Additionally, he said teachers also benefitted, having been “exposed to the best instructional material and training resources”.
“During the last (2009/10) fiscal year, over 10,000 of the targeted 11,000 teachers and lecturers were trained by HEART Trust/NTA, of which over 6,000 persons were certified to NCTVET levels. Additionally, 400 systems administrators were trained in network management and approximately 200 teachers received online training in ICT skills. Approximately 2,000 teachers were trained through the Mico University College, in the integration of technology in instructional delivery,” the Minister informed.
Mr. Vaz said the project, which was financed at a cost of over $2 billion since November 2005, has been enhanced with the establishment of e-learning implementation committees in all schools and tertiary institutions where it is undertaken.
“During this fiscal year, the e-Learning Company will develop and implement a focused intervention for 20 low-performing schools, using integrated learning software to assist in English, Mathematics and integrated science learning,” Mr. Vaz further advised.