Jamaican primary-school students to benefit from Digital Literacy Project

Students from ten primary schools in the Kingston Metropolitan Area are to benefit from a new digital literacy project.

The Kiwanis Club of North St. Andrew is undertaking the initiative in partnership with the Cyber Incident Response Team (CIRT) in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology as well as the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).

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The project is aimed at helping children to develop their critical thinking skills.

It is targeted at members of the Kiwanis Builders’ Clubs and is aimed at improving the students’ digital literacy capabilities and critical thinking skills, and training them in the effective and secure use of digital platforms.

Following the training, a three-member team from each school will compete in a debate competition in February where a winner will be crowned.

Courtney Scott, who is Senior Advisor to Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Alando Terrelonge, endorsed the project as a welcome initiative that will complement the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) by helping to enhance and develop the students’ critical thinking skills.

Mr Scott was representing Mr Terrelonge at the launch held at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) in St. Andrew on Friday (January 10).

He encouraged the students to take advantage of all available educational opportunities and to consider choosing new and emerging careers in the information and technology sector.

“Education is the best gift you can give yourself,” he said.

“Digital literacy provides the skills necessary to live, learn and work in a society where communication and access to information is increasing.”

— Courtney Scott, Senior Advisor to Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information

President of the Kiwanis Club of North St. Andrew, Kenton Bryan, said the club decided to focus on digital literacy training for children based on the Government’s push to become a knowledge-based society and the exponential increase of information in the digital space over time.

“Digital literacy provides the skills necessary to live, learn and work in a society where communication and access to information is increasing through digital technologies like the Internet platforms, social media and mobile devices and, yes, we know the issues our children face on these platforms,” he noted.

The objectives of the digital literacy project are to increase students’ awareness/knowledge of the effective use of the digital space; to improve rigorous higher-order and critical thinking skills of the participants; to enhance the students’ ability to structure and organise their thoughts; to enhance the participants analytical, research and note-taking skills; and to improve the participants’ ability to form balanced, informed arguments and use reasoning and evidence.