Residents in and around Stony Hill in St. Andrew now have a resource centre, financed by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) at a cost of $5.1 million.
Speaking at the official opening of the Rocky Valley Resource Room, Wednesday (February 3), Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said he is joyful with the establishment of the centre, because children will be great beneficiaries from the investment.
“Students will be able to join their school sessions online, and respond to the various demands that come with learning. I am almost certain that some of these sharp minds will one day contribute to the tourism sector, whether directly or indirectly,” Mr. Bartlett said.
He also noted that it will help to foster unity in the area, and encourage personal development, leading to the creation of a positive and productive environment.
Mr. Bartlett said the new facility was created from a vision to benefit the residents, as they “are our greatest assets in any community, and the chance to explore and improve their skills and talents with each other and the external environs tell us that despite our setbacks, a brighter future is possible for all”.
He pointed out that the resource centre is a stepping stone to “greater things” that will happen for the people of the community, arguing that it is a symbol of knowledge, “a tool that if used appropriately, will allow our citizens to excel and become better versions of themselves”.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Service Fund (USF), Daniel Dawes, said his agency provided the computers and is sponsoring free Internet access to empower the community.
He informed that officers from the USF will commence assessments soon, to establish free Wi-Fi service to other areas in West Rural St. Andrew.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, who is also State Minister in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, told the gathering that it is “fitting” for the centre to be opened, as it will help students who are having challenges with Internet connection.
“To the people of Stony Hill, this is for you, this is for your children, especially in this time when children need access online. Take good care of it, and use it in the proper way,” the MP urged.