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The Ministry of Education and Youth is working to improve efficiency in service delivery, including payments to its personnel, says Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams.
Speaking at the Zed Technologies Cybersecurity and Data Protection Conference, held on April 19 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Mrs. Williams said the entire leadership of the Ministry wants to “do a better job than we are doing”.
“We are implementing the platform that will allow us to do so, but these large implementations, they take time. We are uploading data on to the platform, so that our teachers and other administrators can access their personal data from anywhere, and do things,” the Minister said.
The Minister noted that the Ministry is also making preparation for the Data Protection Act, which comes into effect on December 1, which will require schools to register as protector of personal data, adding that it will demand strict responsibility from many institutions.
She said data protection is a crucial aspect of cybersecurity, as it involves safeguarding sensitive, personal, and confidential information from unauthorised access, theft, or loss.
The Minister emphasised that data protection is critical in today’s world, where cybercriminals are on the lookout for vulnerabilities to exploit.
She pointed out that cyberattacks can cause significant financial loss, reputational damage, loss of trust and confidence in digital systems and networks, which can be detrimental to organisations and individuals.
Mr. Williams reported that 50 per cent of schools across the island are now connected to broadband technology, and there is a commitment from the Government to ensure that all schools have Internet connection, “not just the administrative offices across the campuses, but in classrooms”.
“We are upgrading information technology (IT) labs at all our secondary schools,” the Minister said.