- Residents of the Jacques Road community in Kingston are now enjoying the use of a comfortable, fully equipped computer lab and Internet café.
- This is the 169th community access point to be established by the Government across the island.
- This is in keeping with the Government’s efforts to give more Jamaicans access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Residents of the Jacques Road community in Kingston are now enjoying the use of a comfortable, fully equipped computer lab and Internet café, following the official opening of the facility on Wednesday, June 11.
This is the 169th community access point to be established by the Government across the island, through the Universal Service Fund (USF) at a cost of $3 million. Another 12 centres came on stream, since this facility was set up in January.
This is in keeping with the Government’s efforts to give more Jamaicans access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
The USF has equipped the centre with 19 computers, a server, two printers, furniture, and air conditioning. The agency has also set up complete networking and is funding the Internet service.
An initiative of the Jacques Road Parenting Association Limited, the lab was established with the assistance of the Canadian Government. In October last year, 60 world Canadian navy sealers conducted a service day at the centre during a port visit in Kingston.
Canadian High Commissioner, Robert Ready, said the sailors put the basic structure together.
He said he was pleased to see “tangible on-the-ground results that impact real people in a very direct way.”
State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson who is also Member of Parliament for South East St. Andrew, said the lab is an asset for the community. He implored residents “to take advantage of it, nurture, protect it and fully utilize it.”
“The lab provides a great opportunity for those persons who otherwise would not have access to a computer, either at home or school, to come here; for children to do their homework, for adults to do their research,” he said.
He said persons can use the technology to find ways to empower themselves, noting that there are many applications on the Internet that persons can use to work online.
“Persons who may be sitting here during the days, can’t find a job, a little frustrated, there are opportunities here and one of the things I am committed to as Member of Parliament, is to provide the training for those persons so that they are aware of the opportunities and they can take advantage of it,” he said.
Mr. Robinson noted that it is important for every Jamaican to be computer literate, noting that it is now “almost an absolute necessity in everything.”
“For so many services, whether they are government or private, you’re increasingly being pushed online. So this is like a basic skill, in the same way when you’re taught your ‘A, B, C’s’ and your ‘1, 2, 3’s’ you’re going to have to learn to use a computer,” he said.
The lab was also established with input from the Caribbean Cement Company, and residents.