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JCC Sameer Younis Foundation partners with Caribbean School of Data on Digital Skills and Advocacy Training Programme

Tamieka Morris, Social Media Content Creator and Community Board Member for the Silverstone Community in Portmore, sought to gain new skills in order to assist older members of her community to better leverage technology. “I have been noticing that many older persons around me are struggling to use their computer and use their smartphones to conduct meetings. In order to help these persons in my community I must have the basic knowledge [myself]. 

The Caribbean School of Data’s (CSOD) foundational training has provided just the opportunity.

An initiative of the Caribbean Open Institute, the mandate of the CSOD is to increase the employability and economic opportunities for underserved youth across the Caribbean through digital literacy and data skills training. The training covers the five domains and 21 competencies of digital literacy developed by the European Commission’s Digital Competence Framework for Citizens (DigComp 2.0). At the end of the twelve-week CSOD training programme, students receive a certificate of achievement from the Mona School of Business and Management, one of the principal implementation partners of the CSOD. Graduates leave prepared to pursue careers in the areas of SEO Clerk/Online Ad Monitor, Mobile/Web App Tester, Data Processor and Market Researcher.

Just under halfway through the CSOD data and digital literacy programme, Morris has described her experience so far as “enlightening”. Passionate about being able to share with her community, Ms. Morris enthused, “Ever since I began doing this course, there is a thrill every morning to start my online lessons and a high level of excitement to share [my learning] with my family and friends.”

Kenloy Smith, an English Language and Literature teacher at Roger Clarke High School in St. Elizabeth, shares similar sentiments. “I am enjoying my journey so far. [Information Technology] is a field that I liked during high school but did not pursue. While studying I came across the concept [of] “Data Inclusion” and just fell even more in love and motivated. This pandemic has shown us the reality of “online learning” for our students and teachers.” Mr. Smith notes that since starting the programme he has been more conscious of online safety best practices.

The digital literacy and data skills training is just one component of the larger JCC Sameer Younis Foundation Digital Skills and Advocacy Training Programme launched on April 7, 2021 under the theme, “Training Today’s Youth to Become the Leaders of Tomorrow”. The initiative promotes development approaches to inclusion, participation and innovation within the Caribbean targeted at vulnerable groups. The programme aims to train persons in the areas of human rights, community advocacy, digital and data literacy, and adaptation and mitigation strategies to reduce the adverse impact of climate change. Funded by the United States Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica, the advocacy arm of the programme will be provided by Respect Jamaica with the Caribbean School of Data delivering the data and literacy digital skills training which will  enroll (80) students across the island.

The virtual launch included participation from key stakeholders including, Dr. Maurice McNaughton, Director of  the Center of Innovation at the Mona School of Business & Management, Mr. Warren McDonald, Chairman, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce Sameer Younis Foundation; Mr. Robert Adelson, Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy Kingston and Mrs. Samantha Chantrelle, Managing Director of Respect Jamaica and Change Makers and  Project Lead Ms. Cherika Wilson.

The CSOD digital and data skills programme is free for participants, online, self-paced, and is estimated to take students 12 weeks (three months) to complete, following which they are presented with a certificate of achievement. Each group of students is supported by a trained facilitator to ensure they stay on track and have the tools they need to complete the programme. For more information contact mentorship@coi-csod.org or sign up to participate here https://tinyurl.com/JCC-SYF-Registration.

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