Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has announced plans by the Ministry to boost Internet access in primary schools and early-childhood institutions.
This, he notes, will serve to enhance the scope of education through greater integration of technological strategies in the classrooms.
“All high schools already have computer labs and access to Internet, generally… but not all our primary schools and not all our early-childhood institutions do. So we now have a task to make sure information and communications technology (ICT) is universally accessible,” he underscored.
The Minister was speaking at the Accessible Americas V: Information and Communication Technologies for All Conference, at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay, St. James, on Wednesday (November 28).
Noting that ICT remains a key and powerful driver for enhancing Jamaica’s sustainable development, Senator Reid said the education sector must become an exemplar in the use of technological applications.
“We are moving to online learning… flipping the classroom. So, again, both teachers and students will now have to begin to recognise that ICT is now going to be a modality of the delivery of content, in the teaching and learning process… and experience,” he stated.
Against this background, Reid said the Government will continue to expand the rollout and utilisation of ICT across the educational system, to further strengthen its effectiveness.
“The National Standards Curriculum was articulated to be on top of an ICT ecosystem. So the whole idea was to deliver content electronically through digital devices, USB drives, [and] on all the other devices… that’s how it was predicated,” the Minister stated.
Meanwhile, Senator Reid reiterated the Government’s commitment to removing all barriers to ICT access and utilisation, “by enabling persons with disabilities, as well as the vulnerable in our society, to have equal opportunities [to do so]”.
Additionally, he said the Government anticipates positive outcomes from stakeholder deliberations at the conference on the measures necessary to promote digital inclusion.