Mayne wants greater Internet access in St Ann South West
Member of Parliament for St Ann South West Zavia Mayne is banking on the roll-out of the national broadband programme to help with the education of children in areas of his constituency.
Mayne, a Government MP, who is in his second term, said that the education sector in St Ann South West has been hard hit by the pandemic.
"Our schools in the deep remote areas lack broadband access, and are dependent on printing the content of lessons and delivering it to the homes of students," Mayne said during his contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The use of printed material is among the strategies employed by the education ministry to deliver lessons to students since COVID-19 disrupted face-to-face classes. The use of the Internet, through online teaching, is the most popular method of engaging students. Mayne said that in places where there is Internet access, the students lack devices, "and in many households, children have to share in order to obtain lessons".
"We are thankful for the tablets provided by the Universal Service Fund, and for the commitments given for community access points. We know the need is tremendous, but we are grateful that effort is being made to resolve this particular inequality," Mayne said.
The rural MP said that his constituency eagerly anticipates the roll-out of the national broadband programme, an ambitious plan that has been announced by Minister of Technology Daryl Vaz, which seeks to have all houses in Jamaica connected to the Internet by 2025.
"Places like Battersea, which you and I share a border, Madam Speaker, Norwood, Grants Bailey, Linton Park, Hessen Castle, Douglas Castle, Grants Mountain, McKenzie, and Aboukir Woods -- not even cellular phones pick up in these areas. It cannot be over emphasised the immediacy of this need," Mayne said.