Sunday 25 October, 2020

Social Development Ministry launches ICT lab for adult education

Credit: Ministry of Social Development and Family Services.

Credit: Ministry of Social Development and Family Services.

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services has created an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Lab attached to the Adult Education Programme (AEP).

The lab, which was an initiative in collaboration with Digicel Foundation is located at the AEP’s Lifelong Learning Centre at Omardeen Building, Cipero Street, San Fernando.

It’ll be owned and operated by the Government, through the Ministry.

Digicel Foundation donated 10 desktop computers which will be made available to the 55 people registered for ICT Studies in the 2020 Edition of the Adult Education Programme.

The initiative forms part of the Government’s strategy to revitalise the national economy and increase resilience and sustainability among vulnerable populations.

Social Development and Family Services Minister Donna Cox said: “Today’s exercise is symbolic of the greater good that can come out of alliances between the State and the private sector, especially within this period of unprecedented global developments.”

“Within recent months, the world has been experiencing dramatic shifts in our relationships with technology, which of course, come with many positives such as today’s event,” she continued.

She spoke of the importance of the initiative.

“Education as you know, is a fundamental tool in the fight against poverty. As such, through this initiative, the Ministry has also gone one step further in reducing the digital divide and creating avenues for decent work, quality education and enhanced standards of living.”

Cox thanked Digicel Foundation for partnering with the Ministry to ensure that no person is left behind.

Representing Digicel Foundation, Senior Government Relations and Affairs Executive Alicia Hospedales indicated that through the Foundation’s EPIC initiative her organisation was happy to partner with the Ministry, particularly during this period when having access to online learning was so important. The overall cost for the 10 computers is estimated at $5,000 USD.

National AEP Coordinator, Rachel Guzman DeVlugt expressed that following the restrictions associated with COVID-19 and the new approach to online classes, the computers could not have been awarded at a better time.

She stated further that the new computers will also assist the AEP to contribute to the fulfilment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning for all.”

The Adult Education Programme, which was first introduced in the 1940’s has always played a vital role in the empowerment and transformation of the lives of our most vulnerable. The programme allows for certifiable improvements in their academic, as well as, technical and vocational knowledge, behaviours and competencies.

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