JIS News

Constance Hibbert, Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, has said that close to 1,000 public schools across the island have been equipped with computers and free Internet access.
Miss Hibbert made the disclosure on Thursday (March 25) while addressing the official launch of the ICT4D Jamaica programme at the Four Seasons Hotel in Kingston.
She said that the Ministry was able to make such strides with its ICT programme in schools with the help of HEART/NTA, Cable and Wireless Jamaica and the Chinese Government.
The Education Officer responsible for the Ministry’s ICT programme said that this was one of the Ministry’s initiatives to ensure that the resources were in place to support the use of Information Technologies (ICTs) in schools.
Meanwhile, she said that the Ministry has also relaunched its website last year, which is now structured to provide resources for parents, teachers, students and various stakeholders.
In terms of teacher preparation, she disclosed that in excess of 1,300 teachers and principals received training in basic computer skills, use of the Internet and the use of technology as a tool to deliver education.
She also informed that several teachers and principals in 15 schools islandwide have so far been trained to use instructional technology to deliver the primary curriculum.
Turning to the students, Miss Hibbert said that the Expanding Secondary Programme gives grades 10 and 11 students the opportunity to pursue ICT as an elective. The programme is geared to make students more “proficient to function in every day life,” she explained.
She said Information and Communication Technology had a “pivotal role to play in preparing our students for life in the national and global economy”.
Meanwhile, Miss Hibbert also commended the launch of the ICT4D Jamaica programme, pointing out, “the Ministry congratulates the organization on this occasion and wishes for the ICT4D project all the best. You have our endorsement, our support and look forward to working with you”.
The programme is a non-profit industry advocacy lobby group with the aim of fast tracking ICT in the country. Funded by the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) based in The Netherlands and Jamaica’s HEART Trust/NTA, the programme is geared at increasing knowledge at the workplace and facilitating development in the country.

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