All Jamaicans Must Have Access to Technology – State Minister Robinson

Photo: JIS Photographer State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson (centre), points out something of interest to Director at e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited, Christopher Reckord (left), while Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist at Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited, Nicole Campbell, looks on. Occasion was an awards ceremony for Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) students who have excelled using the EduFocal online learning programme, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, on July 1.

State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to ensuring that every Jamaican has access to technology.

Mr. Robinson said that in doing so, the administration is ensuring that it provides the tools that will allow citizens to improve themselves economically, and which can provide a basis for entrepreneurial development and growth.

The State Minister was addressing the awards ceremony for EduFocal Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate(CSEC) high achievers, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, Monday, July 1.

Mr. Robinson said the Government has been facilitating greater access to technology for Jamaicans, regardless of their socio-economic background, and in keeping with this drive, over 133 Community Access Points (CAPS) have been established across the country.

He said access to technology is especially important for students, noting that through the e-Learning programme, over 200 computer labs have been built in schools across the country. He also pointed to the Government’s announcement to roll out 30,000 computer tablets to schools, starting in September.

The State Minister encouraged students to use the technology as a tool of empowerment, not simply to go online to use Facebook or Twitter or to send emails or to play games, but to develop applications and solutions.

He lauded Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of EduFocal Limited, Gordon Swaby, on his innovative programme which makes learning enjoyable for students, and increases their ability to succeed.

“Once you have access to the technology, you can have access to the best tools and you can on your own, almost teach yourself and you can go through the tutorials and you have a better chance of succeeding, not just at GSAT, but at all the other examinations which are important in our educational system,” he said.

Mr. Swaby noted that EduFocal, which was launched a year ago, is an online learning tool for GSAT and CSEC students, and uses a method called “gimmickfication” to make learning fun.

“EduFocal uses an experience points system as a means of tracking students’ progress on the service and we also use Leader Boards to measure their performance,” he said.

Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwards

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