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Minister of Education, Andrew Holness has informed that the Ministry was very close to implementing an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policy for the education sector.
Speaking at the Jamaica Computer Society’s Career Day 2007, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, on (Sept. 26), the Minister said he would be meeting with consultants on Thursday (Sept. 27), to finalise the policy.
“That policy will include certain features, such as ensuring that the administrations of all our schools have computer technology to computerise their record-keeping and their accounting,” Mr. Holness informed.
He added that the E-Learning project would also form a part of the ICT policy for the education sector, when it is implemented.
The E-Learning Project is an innovative educational project utilizing ICT in the delivery of subjects. Launched in February 2006, the project is targeted at high school students and utilizes both informal and formal methods of teaching.
The objectives are to improve the quality of education, enhance the learning experience and ensure high levels of passes in the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) tests.
In his address, Minister of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications, Clive Mullings said his Ministry would be working closely with the Ministry of Education in ensuring that the E-learning project is successful.
“We have the money to drive this project. This is seen as the avenue of hope, not only for you (students) as individuals, but as a country and as a region,” Mr. Mullings said.
In the meantime, Mr. Holness said that it was the intention of the Ministry of Education to seek partnership with international agencies and with the diplomatic community, to help “expose our children to computer technology.”
“The intention of the Ministry of Education is not just to provide the computers, but to change our culture as to how we view technology, because it is critical. If we are going to bridge the digital divide, we have to change our culture of technology here, from one of using technology to one of producing technology,” Mr. Holness said.
“This is where the value added is for the county. So we want to create a human resource base that is not only capable of utilizing the computer technology, but is also capable of producing technology,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mullings pointed out that because of the improvements in technology, there was a chance for third world countries to become first world nations.
“Those of you who go the route of Information and Communications Technology will be able to make that change. We are now having the period of the knowledge base society; you must therefore take hold of that and make Jamaica first world,” he emphasised.