(SKNIS): The Ministry of Education has congratulated Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) Senior Information Technology Lecturer, Dr. Ricardo Neil, on the launch of the text book he authored, “Information Technology in FOCUS for CSEC”, and the successful defense of his doctoral dissertation at Atlantic International University (AIU) with the thesis: Tertiary Level Information Technology Academic Advancements: Through Secondary Level Competency Based Approach.

The event took place at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) on May 6, 2016. The Information Technology (IT) textbook, which was published by Caribbean Education Publishers out of Trinidad, is being hailed as the first multi-functional IT textbook in the Caribbean.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Shawn Richards, said “I believe this book has the potential to transform the teaching and learning of Information Technology in schools around the region.”

The Education Minister said that Mr. Neil wrote the textbook after recognizing “that textbooks that were used in classes were deficient, not covering the information required for the mastery of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC),” while noting that Mr. Neil “having being a teacher for a number of years is indeed in a very good position to make such a determination.”

“In a world which is driven by technology and one which is becoming a paperless society, I am convinced that Information Technology in Focus will keep our students thumbing through its pages,” Deputy Prime Minister Richards said, while highlighting that the book is student friendly with many colour illustrations, diagrams and figures which would appeal to the majority of students who are visual learners and that the textbook also has located at the back cover a resource storage device commonly referred to as a credit card pen drive which would enable teachers and students to have access to Microsoft productivity tools.

“The Ministry of Education is pleased to be associated with this launch as it resonates our vision and recognizes the great potential that technology holds for our developing nation. We recognize Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as key to our continuing development of the nation and so providing and fostering the use of ICT in our schools as part of our mandate to preparing our students for success in our modern global society. Information Technology in Focus will go a long way in helping our students become active users of information and to become informed learners,” the Education Minister said. “I commend Mr. Neil for taking the journey into writing such a book which I believe will be a constant companion to our students.”

Mr. Neil was also commended by President of the CFBC, Dr. Kelvin Daly, Caribbean Education Publishers Dr. Errol Benjamin, Professor of Information Technology Management (ITM) at AIU, Dr. Jack Rosenzweig, President of MICO University, Dr. Ashbum Pinnock, and eGIANTS Senior Manager, Dr. Noel David.

The ceremony, which was chaired by Mrs. Nicola Parris, was attended by faculty, staff and students of the CFBC, school officials, government officials, distinguished guests and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Ionie Liburd Willett, who presented a copy of the textbook to all the high schools in the Federation and several bookstores. Dr. Hughon James gave the invocation. Mr. Shaquieed Benjamin rendered the National Anthem and Mr. James Galloway did an inspiration poem. Mrs. Wendy Lawrence gave closing remarks and Samantha Fox introduced Mr. Neil.

Mr. Neil, who is Jamaican, is married with three children. He is the holder of a Master’s Degree in Information Technology and Management, A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems, a Diploma in Data Systems Analysis, a Diploma in Education, Microsoft Specialist Certification and Technical Vocational Educational Training (TVET) Certification. He is the founder of the eLearning website, ComputerLearningEz.com. He is the author of the first and only “Information Technology Algorithm Textbook (Workbook) to be published in the Caribbean to date.

Dr. Neil successfully defended his doctoral thesis at the Atlantic International University.