More than 200,000 students to benefit over the next three years
The LIME Jamaica Foundation has partnered with the Ministry of Education to provide 300 primary schools across the island with free Internet service over the next three years. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the LIME head office on June 21 by Garry Sinclair, managing director of LIME Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
More than 200,000 students are expected to benefit directly from this project. The LIME Jamaica Foundation's mandate places great priority on providing exposure to the best in information and communication technology to the youth of Jamaica.
"We accept without reservation that we have a vital role to play in creating the future that we want for our children - one where our young people excel in schools and go on to become valuable contributors to a productive sector. Internet access plays a key role in us getting this future," Sinclair shared during the announcement.
Recognising that there are still many households without computers and Internet connectivity, Sinclair said his company sees the access in schools as key to improving the overall academic performance of the young people in these schools.
"The link between Internet access and academic performance is well documented. In fact, recent online reports from Gatlin International - an e-learning institute which serves 50 countries - cited studies showing a direct, positive relationship between improved academic performance and Internet access," he explained.
Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites, in giving his remarks, revealed other benefits that will come from the partnership between his ministry and LIME.
"With the e-learning process deal to extend computer access to the primary sector, having done so significantly for the high-school sector in its originating years, there is another connection and I don't think you know; it is the intention of the ministry to cluster infant schools with primary schools where there is space so, therefore, the services which e-learning will make available and which will be connected with LIME access are going to benefit a much larger cohort, Garry, than even you anticipated," Thwaites remarked.
Education is the key to youth development and community enrichment and LIME is aiming to use information and communication technology as the foundation of the projects under the portfolio of the LIME Jamaica Foundation to promote e-education within a number of institutions and organisations.
"Minister, we take this seriously and we look forward to what we will accomplish together as we strengthen our partnership to create the kind of future we can all be proud of," Sinclair ended.