The setting up of a BWU Computer School and the actual start of a training activity on information and communication technology (ICT), are now a reality for the BWU. Saturday, September 1, was an historic occasion in this regard, as the BWU presented the first graduates from that programme.
The resolve was made at the 65th Annual Delegates' Conference and the commitment given to see this through. Since then the Executive Council ensured that every aspect of the Union's capacity for the delivery of education had been mobilised to ensure that the stage was set. In pursuant of this goal, the Union:
- Dedicated adequate space in the extension to the "Hugh Springer Auditorium", for the establishment of an ICT laboratory;
- Installed the appropriate hardware and softwate, to accommodate twenty students in addition to the tutor(s);
- Facilitated the training of six (6) staff members to Microsoft Specialist standard, through the Advantage Training Solutions (Licensed Microsoft Trainers);
- Appointed a full-time ICT tutor and;
- Implemented its first ICT training.
"Fundamentals of Computers", to run for twelve weeks and covering History of the Computer; Computer Hardware; Computer Software; Microsoft applications - Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Basic Internet.
The momentum continued with the start of the second activity on the 11th September 2007.
In January 2008, the Union will embark on more advanced training in specific computer applications. These will be executed simultaneously with the introductory "Fundamentals of Computers". Moving to this level of delivery will see the school operating both during the day and evenings.
With respect to the certification of the school's programmes, the introductory courses will be awarded a BWU certificate of achievement, while certification for the advanced programmes will be sought through such channels as Microsoft, CXC and the Barbados Accreditation Council.
This new thrust holds great prospects for the further development of the Union. Among other things, it will be a boost tothe Union's organising/ mobilisation efforts, facilitate distance education, enhance research capacity and enhance administrative techniques.
This development in the provision of workers' education within the BWU was commended to the conference, and delegates were asked to give it the fullest support, as indeed to the overall education programme. In a specific way, support can be most tangible through the selling of these programmes to the wider membership.