(From L-R) Reverend Keith Griffith, Minister of Social Care, Steven Blackett, and Parliamentary Representative for St. Lucy, Dennis Kellman, interacting with some students of the Community Technology Programme yesterday following the opening ceremony. (Courtesy Alex Downes, Nation Newspaper)

(From L-R) Reverend Keith Griffith; Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett; and Parliamentary Representative for St. Lucy, Dennis Kellman, watching some of the students of the Community Technology Programme at work yesterday. (Courtesy: Alex Downes/Nation Newspaper)

Even more Barbadians now have access to technology, following the launch of the Community Technology Programme in St. Lucy.

Speaking at a ceremony on Thursday at St. Clement’s Training Centre, Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, said that thanks to the collaboration with St. Clement’s Anglican Church, the programme was expanded to further benefit Barbadians.

“This free access to technology and the Internet allows community members who are unemployed or underemployed, and even those who are employed, to make themselves more marketable locally, regionally and internationally, by increasing their knowledge and skills in many aspects of computer technology,” he stated.

Between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., persons can either attend the Information Technology classes held at the centre, or use the Internet to conduct research, pay bills, or send and receive emails, among other activities.

The Minister pointed out that the programme was a “significant fillip” to educational attainment, as well as social and cultural enrichment, among children, parents and families in rural and urban communities.

“It provides opportunities for upward mobility through access to global services and communications, and consequently for wider career and business options for young persons and adults, utilising modern methods,” he noted.

Mr. Blackett pledged his Ministry’s commitment to providing all Barbadians with access to technology so they could become computer literate, and assured those gathered that the Community Development Department would continue to expand the programme.

He disclosed that the department was currently making arrangements to offer the programme in St John, and was also awaiting Cabinet’s approval to offer income-generating computer courses that would provide persons with the skills to become employed, self-employed, or to gain upward mobility in their current employment.

The Minister urged students to use their time in the centre wisely, and expressed heartfelt thanks to Reverend Keith Griffith and the parishioners for their generosity.


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