Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Yes to GIS mapping

Published:Wednesday | September 23, 2020 | 12:10 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Jamaica has a long way to go, and the integration of science and technology across different sectors tells me good news – that Jamaica is preparing for take-off. I welcome the partnership of the Mona Geoinformatics Institute with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MEYI) and the Ministry of Health and Wellness in using COVID data mapping to inform decision-making as regards the opening of schools.

Partnerships like these speak development. Science and technology should no longer be treated as abstract. Data is needed to inform any decision, and lives are even at risk. The stress and anxiety of educators are understood, but with the rise in the number of cases and deaths, we need to at best adopt a strategic approach.

The data on the confirmed COVID-19 cases, its spread and the inspection of schools utilising the assessment of their readiness are expected to inform decision-makers as to what kind of additional support schools may need, the level of risk students and educators will be exposed to, and the logistics that needs to be set up for a smooth transition.

Internationally, more advanced countries such as the United States of America and India, and even countries in Europe, have been using COVID-19 data to inform their decisions in the education sector and to guide the reopening of schools and training of educators. Jamaica must be applauded, and the MEYI, for adopting best practice and being so proactive.

LENEKA RHODEN

Affiliate member

Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World