While traditional literacy has always formed the core of an education, the rapid development and spread of technology into all facets of life has secured an equally important role for computer literacy. It is hard to imagine how any child could succeed in today’s world without being able to read or write, or use a computer; taken together, there is very little chance for success for those without these skills. And yet, for the many Jamaican children who live in poverty, these are facts of life. A large number of Jamaican 14-year-olds can barely read or write; and for people who cannot afford regular electricity, a computer is unattainable. In light of these circumstances, it is hardly surprising that an estimated 30% of urban youth have little to no high school education.
Although these problems are daunting, they can be overcome. Leading the way is the Caribbean Education Foundation (CEF), whose Learning Centres in Kingston are geared to provide the tools and support that Jamaican youth lack. At these centres, local youth can receive free computer training, a safe environment to do their homework, and extra tutoring, especially in basic literacy and numeracy.
CEF believes that a solid educational foundation will enable young people to transform Kingston communities and, ultimately, to create a better future for Jamaica. In the words of Nikiki Bogle, the President and CEO of Caribbean Education Foundation, “CEF Learning Centers will welcome children into a technology culture so they can compete on a global scale and be equipped with the necessary educational skills to improve their own lives.”
To support this important project, ICEF provided US$ 500 to fund two new computers. These computers will transform study and research for CEF’s students and grant them valuable computer experience.