Digital education company, EduFocal Limited, is partnering with the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) to establish learning centers on its network.
The partnership will include, but not be limited to, the provision of free internet access and technical support for students using JLS services.
There will also be training of JLS staff members by EduFocal in planning, preparing and delivering learning activities for children in all learning centers.
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 site.
Education and Youth Minister Fayval Williams said the initiative will provide a safe and welcoming environment for students entering or using JLS learning centres.
“Your commitment to investing in the development of libraries across the island is greatly appreciated. This partnership will enable more students and people in the wider community to have access to digital learning in a safe space,” she said at the initiative’s ceremony which took place. held last Thursday at the Tom Redcam Drive location of the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library. .
“We expect to see an increase in the use of libraries for research and other purposes,” she added.
Williams said the JLS will also provide space for students to take classes through the EduFocal Academy Virtual School and other supplemental learning programs.
The Managing Director (CEO) of EduFocal Limited, Gordon Swaby, said the initiative aims 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 – at school, at home or in the workplace. We can add to these locations and say that in partnership with the JLS, we will train learners in libraries across Jamaica,” he said.
Swaby noted that as part of the initiative, several infrastructure improvement projects will also be undertaken.
JLS chief executive Maureen Thompson, who noted that the library service remains a critical partner in the national education campaign, said the partnership will help the entity in its mandate to retool and reposition its libraries as as information focal points in the communities they serve.
“The JLS has always placed importance on digital literacy and training. We have been pioneers in providing free access to computers and the Internet recognizing that our [users] need technology to maximize their potential,” she said.
The JLS comprises 111 libraries, 334 mobile library stops and 898 school libraries spread across 13 parishes.
– JIS News