EBLC takes on community-focused education
Students in the Customer Engagement Operation course holding class discussion during training at the centre.

For the past 15 years, the Edgewater Baptist Learning Centre (EBLC) has been a hub for educational development for youths in St Catherine, and Portmore in particular. The EBLC makes its impact by offering community training and intervention programmes through HEART/NSTA and arranging work experience for applicable students.

The centre was founded under the leadership of Rev Dr Dylan Toussaint in 2008 with the aim of being a community resource for the promising youths of Edgewater and neighbouring communities in Portmore.

The Flow Foundation first partnered with EBLC in 2015 by providing free unlimited high-speed internet for the centre and the church. As the centre has grown, the foundation has maintained its support and recently delivered a speed upgrade of up to 100Mbps through its fibre fast technology.

Chairman of the EBLC, Gladstone Leachman, pointed out that the internet serves the centre in several ways and impacts both the young and the old.

Gladstone Leachman, Flow Employee Volunteer and Chairman of the Board for the Edgewater Baptist Learning Centre.

“The internet gives persons the opportunity to upskill in computer training for both personal and professional development. A prime example is the ability for trainees to prepare for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) job opportunities particularly in the Portmore area,” noted Leachman.

“In addition, elderly persons were able do basic computing courses which allow them to navigate the digital space. This was very evident during the pandemic where activities operated mostly online. The internet was very vital in facilitating these activities.”

The centre currently has 45 students between its day and evening classes and accepts students 17 years and older. Through its partnership with HEART/NSTA, the EBLC offers courses in Customer Engagement Operation, House Keeping, Food and Beverage Services, and CSEC subjects. The Universal Service Fund is also a partner and outfitted the EBLC with computers which allows the centre to offer a modern learning experience.

Leachman interacts with students using the facility.

“We facilitate the process of empowering people to build a better Jamaica,” Leachman stated.

“We provide students with opportunity for job placements, diverse technical skills training and competency in a safe and supportive environment that promotes self-discipline, motivation and excellence in learning and the internet helps to facilitate this.”

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