JIS News

Story Highlights

  • More institutions are to receive free geographical information systems (GIS) technology for training and research purposes.
  • The provision of GIS technology to schools is facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the NSDMD and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information in May to enhance teaching and learning.
  • The GIS is designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage and present all types of spatial or geographical data.

More institutions are to receive free geographical information systems (GIS) technology for training and research purposes.

Senior GIS Manager and Trainer in the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD), Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Simone Lloyd, said that 57 schools have received GIS software to date and the technology will be rolled out to other institutions over time.

“All schools that are part of the programme have access to the GIS software, which is valued at US$14,000, but at no cost to the schools,” she informed. Ms. Lloyd was addressing a JIS Think Tank to highlight activities for GIS Week to be observed from November 9 to 18.

The provision of GIS technology to schools is facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the NSDMD and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information in May to enhance teaching and learning.

The MOU follows an Enterprise Licence Agreement by the Government of Jamaica last year for the provision of an unlimited supply of geospatial technology by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), which is the leading supplier of GIS software and products globally.

Included is an arrangement for the GIS technology to be implemented in the selected schools for educational, training and research purposes.

The GIS is designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage and present all types of spatial or geographical data.

Ms. Lloyd said the division places a lot of focus on education and training.

She said there is partnership with tertiary institutions such as UWI, University of Technology (UTech), The Mico University College, and Church and Shortwood teachers’ colleges to develop the competency of teachers, lecturers and students.

“We have also assisted in the development of curricula in different GIS courses and programmes to ensure that persons are fully equipped with geospatial skills in order to assist and facilitate national development,” she added.

Meanwhile, students at the secondary and tertiary levels are invited to participate in activities for GIS Week.

Highlights of the week include the 14th staging of National GIS Day at the Assembly Hall, UWI on November 16, and the GIS Careers and Information Technology Exhibition at the Convent of

Mercy Academy (Alpha) on November 18. GIS Day will provide a forum for users of the technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in society, while the exhibition will expose students to viable career opportunities and the applicability of GIS in solving issues faced daily.