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Minister of State in the Ministry of Mining and Telecommunications, Laurence Broderick, has said that Government is committed to ensuring that all Jamaicans have access to information technology as part of the development process.
Mr. Broderick, who was addressing the press launch of the Caribbean Institute of Technology’s (CIT) week of activities in Montego Bay, St. James recently, said that in keeping with this objective, the E-Learning programme has been expanded, to include the establishment of 13 community access points across the island.
“The aim of this essential project was to have all parishes equipped with computer centres, making network access available. If we are to get on the information highway, we must continue to expand our Internet access. Digital literacy is the key,” he stated.
According to the State Minister, Information Communications Technology (ICT) will soon dictate all aspects of business and social activities, allowing the average person to pay bills, taxes and conduct banking activities online, as well as access the vast educational opportunities including special programmes for the disabled.
He urged the private sector to “jump on board” the technology train, even as Government leads the way in the development of a society that is ICT empowered.
He noted that because E-Learning is still in its infancy, it is left to the public sector to lead the way with funding until the commercial opportunities become more apparent. “Then enterprises will start to play a larger role in E- Learning content and its delivery,” Mr. Broderick pointed out.
He commended the CIT for its achievements in assisting in the creation of a more technology-literate society. He noted that since its inception in 1998, the organisation had trained more than 4,000 graduates in software design and development, computer programming and networking.
The CIT will stage a series of activities from February 8 to 13, in observance of Information Communications Technology Awareness Week.