JCC and CSOD staff with digital skills valedictorian Tasheen Duncan

A young Jamaican crossing the digital divide – Tasheen Duncan

In February 2020, Jamaica saw its first cohort of graduates for its digital skills training programme under the Caribbean School of Data (CSOD). Tasheen Duncan, valedictorian shared her experience with us. 

I am from the very first graduating class of this pilot programme: digital skills training that provides people living in volatile areas like me the opportunity to be prepared for an increasingly digitised world of work.

What was being taught was new to most of us. But what started out as a group of supervised strangers grew into a team and we worked to overcome all the obstacles that were placed in our way. 

I must say it is quite unfortunate that all who started didn’t make it to the end. Our wonderful team of Facilitators never lost hope and they never gave up on the persistent few. Maricet Leyva, Malysha Kelly, Tyreek Welsh and Dr. Maurice McNaughton returned to us Saturday after Saturday to ensure that our journey was smooth and successful.

I can truly say that during this programme we have learned and have taught each other so much, it was truly a blessing. I speak on behalf of myself and my classmates, we have been thoroughly prepared to take on the digital world and we surely will. It might take time and much more practice but it will happen.

A Journey into Digital

We had our orientation on August 10 last year and the programme lasted a little over the stipulated 12 weeks as we had some delays along the way (but) we managed to cover all the material set out on the agenda: four major topics and a final project.

We were always eager to answer questions to give an update on what is happening whether it’s personal, work related or class related. It does feel exuberating just knowing that someone cares. 

We also had an attendance tracker and if we were unable to make it we just simply explained why as we understand that things do happen and you may not be able to be present but playing catch-up was never hard when everything is right at your fingertips.

How could I forget our most tense moments of every other Saturday – Quiz Time. We would come prepared having studied the night before or the week leading up to the test, and be so careful as to not make mistakes. In the end we’d all pass, maybe some more often than others, but we were always happy for each other and reassuring everyone that they did their best.

We all enjoyed having our own tablets along the way. They were personalized and I actually got mine to take home to complete my project when my device failed me along the way. 

We all look forward to the internships as well as all the business ideas that will be born along the way. On behalf of myself Tasheen Duncan, my awesome fellow graduates Kayan, Ronyalee Brown, Steve Spencer, Aldane Watson, Britney Holding and Ashaya Harvey we want to say a BIG “Thank you!” 

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