Social Care Minister, Steve Blackett and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Senator Irene Sandiford- Garner, surfing the internet in the new computer lab at the refurbished Baywoods Community Centre with a little help from this young one. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Residents of the Baywoods, St. James community now stand to benefit from the Community Technology Programme, hosted by the Community Development Department.

The Baywoods Community Centre was recently refurbished and outfitted with a new computer lab to offer the programme.

At the opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steven Blackett, explained that the centre was now a “multi-purpose technological, cultural and social safe haven for persons of all ages”, offering a wide range of services.

“The Baywoods Resource Centre will not only offer a wide range of computer courses but will be equipped with both wired and wireless internet access and an area for study, or to be used as temporary office facilities.

“A library will be added for the younger community members and all the computers will be outfitted with the Aries Eleven Plus Software for those preparing for the Common Entrance Exam, and Quick Books for those small business persons who wish to do their accounting,” he stated.

The Minister disclosed that plans are also under way to use the resource centre to conduct a series of community clinics.

“Lawyers, medical practitioners, agriculturalists and social workers from the various social service agencies can come on selective days and evenings to offer free advice and counselling to community members in order to mitigate the effects of family dysfunction and assist in poverty alleviation,” he noted.

Mr. Blackett explained that the Community Development Department was also hoping to use the facilities to host indoor sports such as draughts, pool and darts, as well as a boxing rink to help young persons “channel their energies into a meaningful sport”.

Consideration was also being given, he said, to the inclusion of martial arts and table tennis.  “On the outside, it is proposed to have road tennis courts and a basketball/netball ring and it is intended to start friendly sporting activities among neighbouring communities,” he added.

The Social Care Minister urged the residents of the Baywoods community to take care of the refurbished facility and take full advantage of the various offerings which were being provided, as well as those which would soon come to fruition.

The Community Technology Programme offers basic training in Information Technology, as well as training in several marketable skills, including, but not limited to, Web Page Design, Computer Graphics, Security and Home Automation, Social Media Marketing, as well as Computer, Tablet and Cellphone Repairs.

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