WROC Opens Computer Centre


The Women’s Research and Outreach Centre’s (WROC) homework programme has been boosted with the opening of a new computer lab, the Janette Purrier Institute of Empowerment, at their Beechwood Avenue premises in South St. Andrew.
The facility will serve youngsters from communities in and around the Lyndhurst Road area, particularly those preparing for the Grade Four Literacy Test and the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
Named after a longstanding educator, and foundation and board member and former head of WROC, Janette Purrier, it was officially opened on Thursday (March 11). It is currently being used by 15 to 20 youngsters, daily.
The Centre was established with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Universal Access Fund (UAF) which provided 12 computers at a cost of just over $3 million.
Guest speaker at the opening ceremony was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby, who noted that the Centre has brought into sharp focus the “shift” to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in promulgating life-long learning to create second chances for disadvantaged persons.
“It complements the array of other efforts being executed by the Government, including the e-learning project, the establishment of community access points and the network of Youth Information Centres,” he said.
Senator Newby observed that ICT was among the most “potent forces” shaping the 21st century, dramatically impacting the way young people live, learn and work.
He said life-long learning by individuals and policymakers was an acknowledgment that concentration on formal learning, in the early stages of life, could no longer sustain individuals.
The re-branding of the adult literacy programme to the Jamaica Foundation for Life Long Learning, and the promulgation of the ideal, has been gaining traction, he said. He also noted that WROC and the Jamaica Library Service were collaborating to widen the reach of their programmes to impact more persons, and deepen the interpretation of life-long learning.
Senator Newby contended that while the focus of the Government has to be on reducing the need for remedial programmes, the country could not ignore that many were where they are, because they were afforded a second chance in life.
He said the Government’s reform of the National Youth Policy will substantially address this aspect of youth empowerment.
“We shall be seeking to create a safety net of opportunities to (provide) every Jamaican (with), at least, two chances, of making a good life for themselves,” he stated.

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