Wed | Oct 5, 2022

Libraries to become digital learning Centres

Published:Sunday | August 14, 2022 | 3:07 PM
Chief Executive Officer, EduFocal Limited, Gordon Swaby (left, seated) and Director-General, Jamaica Library Service (JLS), Maureen Thompson (right, seated) sign the partnership agreement between the entities for the establishment of learning centres across the JLS network. Observing the proceedings are Education and Youth Minister, Fayval Williams (right, standing) and JLS Board Director, Dimitri South. - Contributed photo.

Digital education company, EduFocal Limited, is partnering with the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) to establish learning centres across its network.

The partnership will include, but is not limited to, the provision of free Internet access and technical assistance for students who use the services of the JLS.

There will also be the training of JLS staff members by EduFocal in the planning, preparation and delivery of learning activities for children at all learning centres.

In addition, EduFocal and its private sector partners will provide marketing, sponsorship and financial contribution to the improvement of the JLS.

An EduFocal representative will be assigned to each participating JLS location.

Education and Youth Minister,  Fayval Williams said the initiative will provide a safe, welcoming environment for students entering or using the JLS' learning centres.

“Your commitment to invest in the development of libraries across the island is most appreciated. This partnership will enable more students and people from the wider community to have access to digital learning in a safe space,” she said at the ceremony for the initiative which was held last Thursday at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library's Tom Redcam Drive location.

“We expect to see an increase in the use of the libraries for research and other purposes,” she added.

Williams said the JLS will also provide space for students to attend classes through the EduFocal Academy's virtual school and other supplementary learning programmes.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), EduFocal Limited, Gordon Swaby, said the initiative is intended to provide sustainable digital education support to Jamaican students.

“At EduFocal, we always want to be part of the solution. Our mission is to leverage technology to educate people wherever they are – school, home, or the workplace. We can add to those locations and say in partnership with the JLS we will be educating learners in libraries across Jamaica,” he said.

Swaby noted that under the initiative, several infrastructure improvement projects will also be undertaken.

Director-General, JLS, Maureen Thompson, who noted that the library service remains a critical partner in the national education drive, said the partnership will assist the entity in its mandate to retool and reposition its libraries as focal points for information in the communities they serve.

“The JLS has always placed importance on digital literacy and training. We have been the forerunner in the provision of free access to computers and the Internet in recognition that our [users] need technology to maximise their potential,” she said.

The JLS is comprised of 111 libraries, 334 mobile library stops, and 898 school libraries across 13 parishes.

- JIS News

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