The Eastwood Park Computer Resource Centre has been renovated at a cost of $3.2 million by the Universal Service Fund, formerly Universal Access Fund.
The facility, located at the Eastwood Park Road New Testament Church of God in Kingston, has been outfitted with 18 computers, a server and two printers. The Fund has also provided furniture for the centre.
Addressing a ceremony to officially open the centre on January 28, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, welcomed the initiative, noting that he viewed these projects which provide communities with greater access to technology, as critical to the country’s development and creating a knowledge-based society.
Host Pastor Rev. Alexander G. Simms, said he is grateful for the refurbishment, emphasizing that it will assist with the educational development of young persons and seniors from the surrounding community.
He pointed out that the church is now able to provide a comfortable facility where homework can be completed, particularly for students who are at Grade 11 in high school and for whom computer access is vital for the completion of projects, such as their School-Based Assessment.
“For those older folks who do not have a chance to understand the implications of the new communications technology as they are unable to afford personal computers, we will be able to offer them an opportunity to move into the 21st Century as far as information and communication technologies are concerned,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Universal Service Fund, Hugh Cross, commended the church fraternity for their vision, resilience and persistence in ensuring the provision of such a facility for the community.
He urged the beneficiaries to take care of the equipment and make use of the facility, and pledged the assistance of the Fund to offset the cost of the monthly internet service.
Royale Computers and Accessories, church members and other individuals also contributed to the renovation.