Broad spectrum boost for Jamaican cultural experience
"It is important for the children across Jamaica to learn about their culture, and if they cannot come to Kingston to learn about their history and that of their country, the information should be taken to them," said Masanori Nakano, ambassador of Japan to Jamaica.
For many, the words history and heritage are hidden in the annals of the books passed down as tales from the elders or buried in physical manifestations, that of some ruins, which are buried behind overgrown foliage, trying to hold steadfast facing the elements of nature.
Yet for others, there is the paucity of access to information, being part of the experiences that would educate, especially youngsters, about their past, and make them appreciate the struggles, triumphs, and achievements of their ancestors.
To enhance the cultural experience and education new exhibition and audio visual equipment were donated The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Jamaica on July 12.
Ambassador Nakano's remarks were made in reference to a mobile outreach exhibition, one of equipment in the •58 million (approximately J$66 million) grant, which would enhance the capacity delivery of IOJ programmes in and beyond Kingston.
"This project involves upgrading the Multimedia Production Studio, the permanent gallery of the Natural History Museum of Jamaica, and audiovisual equipment of the lecture hall," said Kenji Tobita, resident representative of JICA in Jamaica. "The project was organised by The Institute of Jamaica and The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport."
The other equipment includes a computer lab and a youth centre to enhance local educational activities.
"The importance of culture and natural heritage and the necessity of its protection are highlighted in the Jamaica's Vision 2030 plan," said Tobita. "JICA Jamaica would like to assist in raising awareness of culture and natural heritage, children and youth development and promoting social activities of the Jamaican populace."
Tobita informed that the grant was of importance as it falls under a key focus of Japan's bilateral relationship with Jamaica and is included education and human resources development.
"This is a priority area of cooperation between Jamaica and Japan for expansion of job opportunity," Tobita said.
He said that IOJ would be able to expand the reach to reach to rural areas; the population there can be informed about natural disasters and risk mitigation which will reduce the impending risks and the people will be better prepared.
The agreement for this project was signed between JICA and Government of Jamaica in 2015 when the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe visited Jamaica.
The benefits would be multi-pronged and on various levels.
"IOJ would increase its capacity with this equipment in place," Tobita said, adding that it should result in increased number of visitors coming to IOJ.
In the Natural History Museum of Jamaica, numbers of exhibition contents using Animation, Visual and Acoustic effect will be increased. Further it would increase the number of outreach activities across the island and increase in the visitors to Children and Youth Centre and the Lecture Hall.
"By providing attractive exhibition contents, awareness to the own culture and natural heritage will be promoted," JICA's resident representative said.
"By putting the exhibition content in latest audiovisual equipment and on a mobile unit, children across Jamaica will be able to enjoy the presentations and learn too," Tobita added.
Under the project the following have been put in place:
1. Upgrade of audiovisual equipment of the Lecture hall ceiling mounted motorised projector screen, 5.1 Surround Speaker and other variety of Speakers, Audio Mixer, wired/wireless Microphones.
2. Upgrade of Natural History Museum of Jamaica Permanent Gallery LCD Monitors, many speakers, Computer Kiosks, Sound Domes, Projectors, Audiovisual Media File Server
3. Education and Outreach Mobile Exhibition Vehicle for transportation, big LED Monitors, Computer Kiosks, Foldable Exhibition Panels
4. Establishment of Multimedia Production Studio to create audio visual materials for virtual and animation exhibitions the equipment supplied are Digital Video Camera, Digital Camera, Computers for Editing, Animation and Scripting, Media File Server and Network attached Storage, Speakers, Software for Animation, Video Editing and others
5. Promotion of Cultural and Artistic Development of Jamaican Children and Youth All-in-one Work Station Computers, Animation Software for kid, Projector and Screen, Server and Printer, Network Communication Equipment
With the tools and technology in place, the resultant experiences can enhanced in high definition, immersed in surround sounds, but fundamentally they would help to create awareness among the people and give them a better perspective of the country's rich and deep rooted history and its place in the present and the future.