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Centre of Excellence officially opens

Centre of Excellence officially opens


The Centre of Excellence, the new technology and industry centre, is officially open.{{more}}

A special opening ceremony took place on Saturday, December 4, at Diamond, where the new edifice is located.

It will be used for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training and ICT Business Incubators.

Minister of Telecommunications and Industry Dr Jerrol Thompson, under whose portfolio the Centre falls, stated that he was pleased to see the opening realized.

On the use of the facility, Thompson said that he anticipates that it will be used to train young Vincentians in ICT programming, as well as the creation of software for the Caribbean.

Thompson disclosed that the Government of India has agreed to send technical experts to this country to assist in the area of ICT training. He did not specify when the experts will arrive.

The minister added that technology has begun to change the face of education. He mentioned technological projects such as a state of the art lecture room at the Community College Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies, the use of white boards in schools and the one laptop per student project as a means to this cause.

Thompson added that students are also being trained in the area of ICT and in the area of computer repairs. He said he is hoping that businesses in ICT will take advantage of the Centre of Excellence.

Remarks were also made by Felix Lewis, General Manager of the Centre for Enterprise Development (CED), who shared his views on the ICT Business Incubator programme.

Lewis stated that the programme is a tool which has been used to promote private sector and entrepreneur development. He added that through the growth of the sectors, there will be improvement in the standard of living, wealth creation and job creation in the country.

He added that the Mixed Business Cycle, one of the programmes spearheaded by his organization at the Centre of Excellence, will be focused on ICT and the services sector, with a view to expanding into manufacturing and agro business in the future and eventually leading to an export of goods and services.

Colin Bacchus of the National Centre of Technological Innovation (NCTI) disclosed that the Centre for Excellence will house additional facilities such as three computer labs with seating capacity of 40, 25 and 20, respectively, as well as a computer room for conducting examinations.

Minister of Tourism Glen Beache commended the Ministry of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Industry, labeling it as one of the best ministries.

He stated that St.Vincent and the Grenadines is at a stage when development and progress is very important. Beache stressed as a consequence this technology should be taken to the next level.

The ceremony also featured a dance from Arabesque Dancers, the cutting of the ribbon and a tour of the building.(OS)