Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, has appealed to schools to allow students free and easy access to computer equipment, and not to treat the computers as “some revered instrument that no one must touch.”
“Let the students get the exposure,” he urged, as he addressed the official opening of a computer centre at the Corinaldi Avenue Primary School in St. James.
Pointing out that the understanding of the computer by most Jamaicans stop at the computer screen, monitor and keyboard, the Education Minister said that such an attitude “will keep us as consumers of the technology rather than as producers.”
“So, in teaching your students about the computers, from the outset, try to get them exposed to the programming; the software programming that goes behind the computers, because that is where the value in the computer is,” he stated.
Former Chairman of the Board of the Tryall Fund, John Kearney (left), has the attention of Minister of Education, Andrew Holness as they tour the new computer centre at the Corinaldi Avenue Primary School in St. James, recently. The Tryall Fund contributed $15 million to the project. The $30 million facility will also serve the adjoining Barracks Road Primary School.
“Start getting the students interested not only in how to use the computers but also in what is happening inside the computers, with a view to playing their part in helping the nation in the race to narrow the digital divide,” he further urged.
The Education Minister noted that “if we are going to progress as a nation, all our students must now start to see consumable products. as things that they can model into information, so that they can own that information and sell it back to the market.”
The $30 million computer centre, which has 69 terminals, will also serve the adjoining Barracks Road Primary. The Doctors Cave Bathing Club in Montego Bay and the Tryall Fund donated a combined $20 million to the project.
Also present at the opening were Minister of Water and Housing and Member of Parliament for North West St. James, Dr. Horace Chang; Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Charles Sinclair; and Regional Director in the Ministry of Education Region 4, Devon Ruddock.