Access to ICT important to furthering of education system

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas (left) and CEO of Kittitian Hill, Mr. Val Kampadoo look at the new computers at the Parsons Community Center (photo by Erasmus Williams)

ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 (CUOPM) – Access to Information Communications Technology (ICT) in communities and in schools is important in helping to produce graduates of the education system who are armed with ICT related skills useful for further education, as well as for employment.

So says St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas at the opening ceremony to inaugurate the Capisterre Computer Initiative at the Parsons Community Center.

“It is crucial to understand, however, that the computers and their Internet connections are important tools in our hands for the facilitation of learning. Every effort is being made by my Government to ensure that our ICT policy addresses core issues of integration at all levels of the Education System, and with communities, if we are to achieve a real revolution or nexus between Education and Information Technologies,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who is also the parliamentary Representative for the area.

He that teachers, school management and appropriate Governmental Ministries, must work towards goals that facilitate the nexus.

“It means they must be equipped with the crucial knowledge and skills to enable the effective use of technology. Training, at all levels, has to be a significant aspect of ICT implementation,” said Dr. Douglas.

He also said that coordination is critical, as crucial as the financial resources that are required.

“But, it is important to understand that ICT in the Education System has to include all areas of teaching and learning, from subject registration, syllabus planning, coursework/homework assignment, to correspondence with parents and assessment. Certainly, getting to such a point is a process that requires many resources, therefore, phased approaches would have to be the order of the day,” said Dr. Douglas, who pointed out that regardless of the resources at any given time, “we must ensure that all our endeavours are aimed at producing quality output, in terms of our student’s education and skills set, the empowerment of our communities, as well as the institutional strengthening that is required to sustain development and growth with regards to ICT and Education.”

He said it is important that to think about the future and the relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis, the Caribbean region and the world at large.

“Clearly, the world is more integrated today than ever before, and our most recent illustration – the global economic and financial crisis – should leave us in no doubt. As a consequence, Caribbean Community leaders mandated the CARICOM Secretariat to develop a CARICOM ICT Strategy, given the fact that Information and Communication Technology is considered to be a vital facilitator of further integration, especially as in relation to the success of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, the CSME,” said the Prime Minister.

He pointed also that the ultimate context relates to St. Kitts and Nevis, and the rest of the Caribbean Community, being able to compete effectively on the global scene.

“In other words, our economies must be sustainable and globally integrated, as the ICT borders become more blurred. We prepare for the future, therefore, by preparing our human resources to function effectively in a highly competitive global environment. The process must begin in the early years of our children,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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