JIS News

The Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) has certified three residents of Homestead in South Central St. Catherine in solar photovoltaic systems maintenance.

They are: Delroy Wilson, Jermaine Reid and Tarik Gordon, who were presented with their certificates during Wednesday’s (March 28) commissioning of the Owen Palmer Cyber Centre in Homestead.

All three are now able to contribute to maintaining the $9 million facility, the latest community access point (CAP) to be established by the Universal Service Fund (USF), which has been outfitted with, among other things, 12.5 kilowatt solar panels to make its operations more efficient and cost effective.

The CAP, which is located at the Homestead Community Centre, is also equipped with desktop computers, projectors, screens, multifunction printers and routers along with air conditioning units.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister and Member of Parliament, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, in his address, said young people are being trained in the maintenance of solar photovoltaic systems attached to CAP sites to ensure the facilities’ longevity.

He indicated that the training is designed to make the beneficiaries more employable.

Dr. Wheatley also advised that the Government is embarking on a number of programmes to train persons of all ages in information and communications technology (ICT).

This engagement, coupled with the establishment of the CAPs, is part of the Government’s commitment to transform Jamaica into a knowledge-based society.

Meanwhile, Dr. Wheatley urged residents of Homestead to ensure they maintain the CAP, which is named in honour of the late USF Director, Owen Palmer, emphasising that “when you come to use the facility, do not dishonour it… use (it) for productive work”.

The USF’s Chief Executive Officer, Suzette Buchanan, told JIS News that the entity is continuing work to establish more community access points.

“As long as there is a need, the application is made and there is suitable leadership (and) a secured location, we (will) continue to approve them,” she said.

Ms. Buchanan indicated that, to date, the USF has established approximately 280 CAPs islandwide, noting that residents in communities where these are in operation are appreciative of the provisions.

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