The Universal Service Fund (USF) is seeking to fill 100 slots for the third phase of the Technology Advancement Programme (TAP) to cultivate a new generation of tech-savvy coders for the digital age.
USF’s Communication Officer, Timothy Simmonds, said the free-of-cost initiative is currently open to applicants between 18 and 29 years old, who will receive training in coding at the Stony Hill Heart Academy in St. Andrew, in partnership with Amber Group Limited.
Mr. Simmonds was addressing the launch of the Community Wi-Fi at Poppy Street in George’s Plain, Westmoreland, on Wednesday, May 4.
At the end of the year-long programme, those enrolled will receive certification and be better positioned to spearhead innovation and drive economic growth as well as to tackle the challenges of the country’s tech industry, according to Mr. Simmonds.
“[We are here] to deliver the best training and certification available in coding to our nation’s youth free of cost. I urge you to apply today,” he said.
Applications and qualification documents must be submitted online through the USF’s website, at www.usf.gov.jm.
The Internet at Poppy Street has a range of 800 feet and will allow some 200 residents to simultaneously access high-speed service with their smartphones or tablet devices.
Installation of the community Wi-Fi is part of USF’s mandate to increase Jamaicans’ access to information and communication tools to facilitate development, as well as increase the use of ICT devices across the country.
“The impact of this initiative on development cannot be overstated, as access to the Internet opens up opportunities for education, healthcare, and business,” Mr. Simmonds outlined.
“Additionally, this community Wi-Fi hotspot will enable residents to access vital government services online, saving them time and money. This will only serve to improve the efficiency and service delivery and reduce the burden on government offices,” he added.
Acting Principal of George’s Plain Primary School, Mario Scott, said the installation of the Community Wi-Fi will benefit students in the area, who can now do their projects, homework and assignments without worry.