JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Residents in the South West St. Andrew community of Caribbean Palm Estate and its environs will benefit from the recent opening of an information technology resource and skills training centre.
  • The centre, which was officially opened on September 17, by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is the 182nd such facility being built and equipped with funding from the Universal Service Fund (USF).
  • It is equipped with 27 computers, one server, one printer, a multi-media projector and screen, computer desks and chairs, air conditioning unit, and Internet access.

Residents in the South West St. Andrew community of Caribbean Palm Estate and its environs will benefit from the recent opening of an information technology resource and skills training centre, constructed and equipped at a cost of $6 million.

The centre, which was officially opened on September 17, by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is the 182nd such facility being built and equipped with funding from the Universal Service Fund (USF).

It is equipped with 27 computers, one server, one printer, a multi-media projector and screen, computer desks and chairs, air conditioning unit, and Internet access.

Services to be provided at the resource centre include homework assistance; help for GSAT, CXC and CAPE students; and literacy, numeracy and personal development programmes.

The Prime Minister, who is also Member of Parliament for the area, informed that an additional 49 resource centres are being built in communities across the island, while nearly 150 applications for similar facilities are awaiting approval.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the facility is part of the Government’s commitment to empower communities, and this will be realised through improvements in young people’s chances of employment, and opportunities for matriculating to higher education and attaining steady employment.

“This IT resource and skills training centre is at the very heart of the new kind of community we are building. A community, which offers hope and opportunity, and training for the world of work,” she explained.

The Prime Minister said the resource centre will provide a place for students to prepare for examinations, and will also serve as a homework and skills centre, where both the young and old will receive assistance with reading and communication skills, as well as mentorship and character building.

“I believe with centres like these, adults should also be engaged with upgrading themselves,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that young people and adults alike will now have a suitable place to study, while senior citizens will be exposed to the computer and the Internet.

“Everyone now has the opportunity to become technology savvy and to use the computer for recreation. It is never too late to learn new things. Let your hands become busy at the key boards of these computers,” she said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, said the IT and skills training centre represents access and opportunity.

“We believe that the children of Jamaica should not be at a disadvantage to the children of the world. It’s a competitive environment and we have to ensure that our children have the tools to learn,” he emphasised.

For his part, Chairman of the USF, Bishop Wellesley Blair, explained that the business of the Fund is to ensure that every Jamaican resident has easy and reliable access to the information super highway.

President of the Caribbean Palm Estate Strata, Michelle Morgan-Smith, said she welcomed the facility, noting that it will improve the lives of residents and uplift community spirit.