Voices of youth parliamentarians (Pt III)
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its Potential for Economic Growth and Job Creation
Andre Swaby, leader of the opposition
"Mr Speaker, this Youth Parliament believes in the need to transform the agricultural sector through employing ICT and the involvement of Jamaica's youth.
"Mr Speaker, we are submitting to the Government a concept known as electronic agriculture, or e-agriculture. This, Mr Speaker, will help to remedy the issue of unemployment in Jamaica. E-agriculture is a global community of practice where people from all over the world exchange information. This system utilises ICTs for sustainable agricultural and rural development.
"Mr Speaker, it is our hope that we will adopt this approach to agricultural transformation. Once upon a time, Mr Speaker, agriculture was seen as a menial job where people considered the task of farming as just the machete and hoe, engaged only by the elders and a small number of youth. Mr Speaker, our responsibility as youth parliamentarians is to rebrand the sector as booming and attractive."
Tishauna Mullings, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade
"ICT should be used as an enabler to reduce digital gaps and allow access in an equitable manner where schools with more resources and greater strengths in ICT should share with less-advanced schools. Imagine with me, Mr Speaker, Campion College in Kingston sharing a math lesson with Robert Lightbourne High School in St Thomas from their computer lab in real time."
Chad Rattray, minister of education
"We recommend that the Government roll out ICT clubs that will be mandatory for students to join across the length and breadth of Jamaica. Also, we believe that first-year university students should be introduced and exposed to ICT as a mandatory course, especially in teachers' colleges, where teachers in training can have more access to IT (information technology) education to advance the learning scope of our students in the classroom.
"Finally, Mr Speaker, we suggest that jobs within the ICT sector, other than the BPO, such as software engineering, are promoted across the programmes and agencies of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information."
- Others youth parliamentarians who made presentations include: Abigail Rhoden and Andre Witter.