BCC goes high tech

Jones and Chairman Stephen Broome in the network room getting a lesson on the technology.

The Barbados Community College has gone high tech, and Minister of Education Ronald Jones promises more innovations to come once the money is there.

This morning the Community College announced that it has installed a campus-wide network in ICT infrastructure upgrade that sees the institution now outfitted with a WiFi network as well.

Chairman Stephen Broome told a gathering at the launch in the college’s board room this morning, that the upgrade was done at a cost of $1.2 million in fulfilment of the recognition by the board in 2009/2010 that technology was an important element in the institution’s development.

The upgrades started with the campus’ website and then progressed to the campus-wide network and the internal upgrades as well.

“The rationale for the implementation of this new technology infrastructure was to have a seamless linkage between the two campus sites at Eyrie and Hospitality Institute and allow for a homogenous, structured network that would allow campus-wide access by staff to centralised information.

“With respect to the campus-wide network, the introduction … will thus allow for the expansion of teaching resource offerings in the classroom for example online teaching, access to online databases, use of much more technology related and aided equipment because each classroom will have some form of Internet access and will also have access to the centralise network facilities.

“The campus-wide network will therefore allow tutors and students the ability to use many technology offerings in the classroom and outside of the classroom such as laptops, iPads and any of the various Android tablets and phones available on the market. These tools can only be truly useful when wireless is available everywhere,” Broome stated.

The chairman went on to note that the launch was a stepping stone to other technological improvements planned by the board, an assessment Jones seemed to agree with as he too noted this was not the end to the possibilities of technological improvements at the campus.

Commending the college, and partner Regional Business Systems for completing the project almost to budget, only about $300-and-some over, the minister noted that it was important for projects now to be done at cost and once more funds were available, more could be done for the institution.

“What is placed here should be the envy of others,” he said, joking that he however hoped it would not lead other tertiary institutions like the university to then seek more funding.

“When the economy goes into growth, everyone will enjoy the benefits,” he told the audience, adding that teachers there should expect to get the same level of access to technology that primary and secondary schools now enjoy.

Just as teachers at those levels received laptops enabling them to plan their lessons and execute studies, he said there should be no discrimination against the BCC, whose staff should reasonably be able to expect the same to prepare their syllabus. (LB)

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