Students from 27 high schools will benefit from information and communications technology (ICT) Clubs being initiated by the Universal Service Fund (USF), with the aim of strengthening the integration of technology in learning.
Club activities will include exposing students to user experience/user interface (UX/UI) designing, coding and animation, among other areas.
Jamaica Technology and Digital Alliance (JTDA) will partner with USF to guide students on various industry trends.
The Fund, which is an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, hosted a sensitisation session on the initiative at the Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston on Friday (September 30).
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said that the digital age calls for more exposure of students “to cutting-edge technology… and, of course, equipping them with the requisite resources, digital skills and competencies for future careers. As digital natives today, students speak the language of technology”.
Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, in her remarks, said that providing students with access to technology was crucial in ensuring the continuation of learning when classes were held online, and will remain an important part of the everyday school environment.
“That’s why we continue to work with USF to ensure that all our schools are outfitted with broadband connectivity, not just in the offices of the administrators but in the classrooms of students and the staff room of teachers,” she pointed out.
Chairman of USF, Justin Morin, indicated that an essay competition will be part of the initiative.
He said that the competition will help students “to develop a deep understanding of ICT and Internet services [as well as] how the USF supports that field”.
Participants will be required to write an essay of between 1,300 and 1,500 words on the theme ‘The Disorienting Dilemma of Online Learning’. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 11.
“The USF endeavours to be a key resource for schools in the development of their ICT infrastructure and educational programmes,” Mr. Morin said.