In the 1960s
and 70s the Jamaican economy was held back by a population that was illiterate
an innumerate and in 2019 the economy is facing a similar challenge, as the
population is now digitally illiterate. In the 1960s
and 70s the world demanded people that were literate and numerate amongst other
things; however, today there has been a shift as the world is now demanding
people who are digitally literate.
is the new must have for anyone who is seeking to be a part of the world’s
labour market and economy. Today everything has very much gone online and
citizens and consumers are being asked to access government and private
services and products online.
today we are having a similar challenge to what we had in the 1960s and 70s and
the government introduced JAMAL then (light the Lamp) to eradicate the high
level of illiteracy and innumeracy that existed at the time. The challenge of
today requires a similar solution. The Government needs to introduce an
islandwide programme that will seek to eradicate the digital innumeracy that is
plaguing the island.
spoken to by Educate Jamaica believe that the economy can grow by an extra 1.5%
annually with a more digitally literate population. Not only will we see
economic growth, it is also expected that we will see average wage growth of 15%
per annum resulting from a more digitally literate society.
The JLP and PNP
Governments have spent hundreds of million of dollars over a number of years
now, building community access points. These community access points need to
become the hubs that will drive the urgent need to make the population more
digitally literate and this could be done in collaboration with the HEART TRUST
NTA, as well as the utilization of the computer labs in the hundreds of schools
around the island. The primary and
secondary schools around the island could be used during out of school hours to
deliver digital literacy classes to persons in the communities surrounding the
The need to
respond to the digital illiteracy is an urgent one and the Government must
respond to this issue with a matter of urgency. With an additional annual
economic growth of 1.5% up for grabs, we have a great incentive to act now.