College wants media centre

Ronald Jones addressing the launch.

The Barbados Community College is hoping that among other things, this current financial year will see it being able to establish a media centre at the Howell’s Cross Road, St. Michael site.

Stating that there was need for additional training of users in the newly introduced technologies, as well as upgrades to computer labs, Chairman Stephen Broome said at the launch of the campus-wide network and WiFi this morning:

“Furthermore, the [board of management] wants the implementation of the centralised media centre to become a reality since it is anticipated that it will not only reduce cost of printing but also provide a better service of shared resources across the campus. These measures have been placed in a special projects request to the ministry for funding for the financial year 2013-2014 and we hope that they will be approved.”

He added: “We are aware of the need to provide tutors with or assist with the provision of teaching tools such as laptops. We cannot promise at this time that every tutor will receive a laptop but we have made provision in next year’s budget for such accommodation on a phased basis, meaning that the provision of laptops will not all be in one financial year. Of course, such a step can come with additional costs especially in the areas of software licensing and hardware and software maintenance. In addition, there is a need to upgrade the several computer labs at the college with more recent hardware and this too has the attention of the [board].”

The chairman further stated that he regarded as valid also, the request from the campus’ librarian for Kindle tablets and brands for use in the library, given the number of ebooks and other material now available in digital format.

This latter request, he said could be a small stepping stone in getting the Alumni to help provide necessary equipment to the institution.

In his remarks, Minister of Education Ronald Jones noted that he was currently drafting a document that would see information technology playing a greater role in the college’s development.

He said it would involve additional work for the college in the areas of research, training and development as well as employment in technologies, which would go some ways towards ensuring graduates left with the knowledge to become entrepreneurs.

Jones also hinted at the possibility of an independent facility being earmarked in this said document to help with such qualifications in information technologies. (LB)

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