JAMAICA'S USF PROVIDES $430 MILLION FOR ICT INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS
The Universal Service Fund (USF of) Jamaica has provided nearly $430 million in information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure development support for several tertiary institutions over the past four years. Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Hugh Cross, says this entailed the installation of broadband Internet service and state-of-the-art equipment, among other key inputs. The Universal Service Fund, which falls under the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, is a statutory agency established by Government to assist with the rapid deployment of Internet services and support infrastructure.
Speaking of the USF's contribution of $200M to the UWI Open Campus Dr. Cross told Jamaica's Information Service (JIS) that the intervention transforms the open campuses to world class facilities, which would also have impact to students living outside of Kingston who access them.
Dr. Cross also pointed out that $144 million was allocated for the provision of new state-of-the-art simulators at the Caribbean Maritime Institute’s (CMI) main campus at Palisadoes Park in Kingston.
The institute was facing the prospect of decertification by the International Maritime Organization, because some of their key equipment, primarily simulators, which are critical to the academic programme, were deemed outdated.
Dr. Cross stated that as a result of the USF’s intervention, “they now have modern simulators which rival the best anywhere in the world”. The intervention included the provision of a 125-kilowatt solar-energy system to ensure there is a dedicated and stable power supply to operate the equipment.
CXC LAUNCHES GREEN ENGINEERING SYLLABUS IN GUYANA
Giving an overview of the syllabus at the launch held at the Theatre Guild, Georgetown, subject panel member, was Dr. Paulette Bynoe. Dr. Bynoe said the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Green Engineering course has two units- Introduction to Green Engineering and Application of Green Engineering and Principles
Some of the modules studied include, concepts and issues, Theoretical Framework of Green Engineering and Green Engineering in Practice, the utilization of sustainable materials and energy, sustainable designs and green engineering solutions and the environmental consequences of using different energy sources.
Dr. Paulette Bynoe. said the syllabus has been designed in such a way to ensure that the focus is not only students’ ability to recall, with the focus being knowledge and comprehension, application of knowledge and practical ability.
“This allows students to really exercise their problem solving and critical thinking skills -very important for engineering- so it is not a case where a student will cram and pass the exam. We don’t need that sort of thing. The knowledge is important but we have to begin to transcend the knowledge if we are going to make a decision in the world today,” she said.
CODE OF PRACTICE ON SAFEGUARDING THE OPEN INTERNET SIGNED AT CANTO 2016
SAN JUAN -- Day one of the ongoing CANTO 32nd Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition which is taking place in San Juan, Puerto Rico from July 31st - August 5th was full of thought provoking and forward thinking discussions, presentations and panels.
One notable event coming out of the days proceeding's was the signing ceremony of a Voluntary Code of Practice on Safeguarding the Open Internet. Chairman of CANTO, Julian Wilkins speaking after the signing said: "the region continues to grapple with the changing landscape of ICT, the signing of the Code is important as through CANTO it provides a unified approach which is sometimes needed, as
compared to individual approaches." He added that, "CANTO will continue to facilitate individual assistance as well as regional approach to ICT issues when and where needed".
Digicel's Denis O'Brien, delivered a feature address as part of the morning session, which touched a number of burning topics now engaging the region's ICT agenda including Net Neutrality and safeguarding the Open Internet.
Day one also included a panel on Converged Regulation, sessions entitled "Technology on Steroids - Living in a Modern World"; "Strengthening Cooperation Between Telecoms Operators and National Disaster Offices"; Corporate Social Responsibility Awareness" and "Modernizing Regulatory Frameworks".
Founded in 1985 as a non-profit association of 8 telephone operating companies,CANTO is recognized as the leading trade association of the ICT sector for shaping information and communication in the Caribbean. CANTO has now grown to over 120 members in more than 31 countries.
CUFFIE CALLS FOR CARIBBEAN ICT SOLUTIONS
Trinidad and Tobago's Public Administration and Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie made the call for solutions tailor-made to meet the Information Communication Techology (ICT) needs of the Caribbean. He made the call at CANTO's 32nd annual Conference and Trade Exhibition being held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
As a panelist on the first Ministerial Roundtable of the Conference Minister Cuffie - according to a press release from his Ministry - acknowledged the varied membership of CANTO including major international telecommunications/ ICT providers who had a significant presence in the Caribbean Region.
He called upon these providers to make a greater effort in developing solutions that meet the specific needs of Caribbean countries and urged them to avoid pre-packaged solutions that may have been utilized elsewhere and which had not resulted in expected benefits despite significant investments on the part of Governments.