25 April - 1 May 2001

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The Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation

Maltacom Training College is also very active in the Programme for Development and Training of the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation (CTO).

Suffice to say that last year alone, with the assistance of the International Department of Maltacom, the College managed to secure twelve courses after competitive bidding with other telecommunications institutions/organisations like British Telecoms and Telecom Malaysia.

Participants who have had training at the College came from countries such as Bangladesh, Barbados, Fiji, Ghana, Jamaica, Kenya, Mauritius, Malawi, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Maltacom Training College bridging the communications divide

The Maltacom Training College is breaking new ground in the training of hi-tech staff, sorely needed by the country. Adding to the potential of the College, Maltacom has teamed up with Cable & Wireless as a strategic training partner . Ray Abdilla is guided through the facility and is informed on the positive work being carried out.


After an absence of some 24 years from Malta, Cable & Wireless have returned. This time, however, not as a provider of telegraphic services as they were up to 1977, but as a strategic training partner with Maltacom Training College.

Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami and International Telecommunications Union Secretary General Yoshio Utsumi overlook the ITU – Maltacom inaugural plaque.

Collaboration between the two institutions has been in progress for a number of years, with the Cable & Wireless College offering training to Maltacom employees both in the field of ‘training the trainers’ courses and in specialised telecommunications postgraduate programmes.

This collaboration was consolidated last January when Maltacom Group and Maltacom College International Ltd Chairman Maurice Zarb Adami, and David Mellor, President of Cable & Wireless Virtual Academy. signed an important training agreement.

For the first time, the Maltacom Training College was granted a three-year world wide exclusive right to organise the International Certificate and Diploma in Telecommunications programmes. The agreement was finalised after the visit of Mr Zarb Adami to the Cable & Wireless College in Coventry, UK.

By virtue of this agreement, the College has become responsible not only for the organisation of the programmes that are held in Malta, but also for those held internationally. Hence, countries like Fiji and St Lucia (two countries that organise these programmes on a regular basis) will have to apply to the Maltacom Training College for the accreditation of the ICT and IDT programmes.

At the time of signing, Hamadoun Toure’, Director of the Telecommunications Development Bureau within the ITU was also on an official visit to Malta. This was in preparation for the finalisation of the agreement that was to be reached a few months later between ITU’s Global Telecommunication University and Training Institute (GTU/ GTTI) and Maltacom Training College.

This process had been set in motion at the meeting held between Mr Toure’, Mr Zarb Adami and Anthony De Bono at the ITU Telecoms Conference in Geneva in October 1999.

Hamadoun Toure, the ITU’s Director of the Bureau for Telecommunications Development (front centre) shares a word with Censu Galea, Malta’s Transport and Communications Minister (front left) and Tony Debono (front right)

About Maltacom Training College
Maltacom Training College, set-up in June 1998 as a fully owned subsidiary of Maltacom plc, is the official training provider of the Maltacom group. However, the College serves also other local and international institutions/organisations.

Mr Zarb Adami chairs the Board of Directors that govern the College with Prof. Roger Ellul Micallef, John Camilleri, Felix Borg, Joseph Baldacchino and Charles Sacco sitting as members.

To assist the Board in establishing its policies, there is the Executive Management Board chaired by Joseph Busietta with other members being Prof. Anthony Serracino Inglott, Anthony De Bono, Felix Borg, Charles Xuereb and Marika Farrugia.

Manager Charles Xuereb recently told The Business Times that the changes taking place in today’s technological and commercial environment call for new skills, knowledge and expertise, in managing telecommunications organisations and operate networks and services.

To cope with these changes in technology and market structures, human resource development must be intensified to upgrade the skills of personnel and to enhance management capabilities in order to implement business-oriented management structures and procedures.

To this aim, the College is committed to the personal and academic development of promising individuals particularly those employed in the telecommunication sector. This goal is attained through the delivery of training programmes that enable trainees to develop their skills to lead, manage and operate effectively.

Among the bonuses of undertaking courses at Maltacom Training College are Malta’s strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean, the cost-effective training solutions and the emphasis on quality coupled with competitive prices.

Adult education and lifelong learning are gaining momentum. Many of the criteria and assessments schemes previously used to assess an individual’s performance have been replaced by more meaningful systems based on understanding the need of adults and how they acquire new skills and knowledge.

Maltacom Training College is also committed to widen its access to training opportunities for adult learners. Training co-operation with other training institutions have been established both locally and abroad. The Cable & Wireless Virtual Academy, the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation and the International Telecommunication Union are just a few cases in point.

Mr Toure (centre left) meets with Malta’s Education Minister, Louis Galea (centre) and Maltacom Chairman Maurice Zarb Adami (centre right)

The College offers a wide variety of training programmes to meet the various industry requirements. The College therefore aims at:

Providing courses to enhance career-based training; offering a fast-track route to personal and corporate development, by extending and deepening the learner’s skills, abilities, knowledge and experience to provide a more flexible and motivated workforce.

Collaborating with other training institutions to create synergies in the training process, designing programmes according to customers’ needs;

Offering the College facilities to other institutions.

The College offers a wide array of training programmes that vary both in duration and in subject matter. Long courses include the International Certificate in Telecommunications (ICT) and the International Diploma in Telecommunications (IDT) each lasting 30 weeks and the Certificate in Telecommunications Management (4 weeks). The ICT and IDT, that are Oxford Cambridge RSA (OCR) accredited programmes, have become the hallmark of the College’s scheduled programmes. At present, apart from management courses, students from Maldives and Maltacom are attending the IDT. In April, other students from Maldives and Falklands started the Certificate programme.

These programmes are aimed at personnel who either have some experience in telecommunications and want to progress in their career or for those who want to start a career in the telecommunications industry. These programmes will help them to strengthen their underpinning knowledge that will enable them to manage telecommunications systems effectively and efficiently.

The College provides also other courses in the technical, administrative, information technology and financial subjects.

Ray Abdilla was given a tour of the College by Manager Charles Xuereb, who was one of the first to begin working at the College and who also truly believes in this concept which is an integral aspect of the Maltacom group.

The facilities available at the College include lecture rooms all air-conditioned and equipped with audio-visual aids, a high standard laboratory with electronic and electrical workstations together with digital measuring instruments and equipment and a computer laboratory with modern connection (ISDN. ADSL etc) connection. The catering facilities offer a range of lunches and a variety of hot and cold snacks and drinks.

On-line distance learning programmes
On 20 March 2001 Mr Yoshio Utsumi – Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union was in Malta to sign yet another import partnership agreement with Maltacom Training College. Within the framework of this agreement, the College, in collaboration with the Global Telecommunication University and Training Institute (GTU/GTTI) of the ITU, will be able to deliver on-line distance learning programmes particularly but not exclusively to developing countries. Maltacom Training College will also be represented on the GTU/GTTI’s governing board and will have the opportunity to organise study visits to well established distance learning institutions.

Several high-profile on-lookers are given a hands-on demonstration of the College’s activities

Mr Utsumi explained that the GTU/GTTI’s mission was to contribute to the development of human resources in the telecommunications sector by offering training and educational courses. He indicated that training by distance learning would help to bridge what he called the ‘digital divide’ between the technologically advanced and the third world countries.

The Secretary General pointed out that out of the six billion people in the world, one half have never made a telephone call in their lives, which went to show the hard work that still needed to be done for these people to really have a part of the global access.

On the same day, Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami inaugurated the first node of the GTU/GTTI at the College. In his address, the Prime Minister recalled how in 1995 during the inauguration of the Malta-Sicily submarine Optic Fibre Cable project he had appealed to the Secretary General of the ITU to consider the potential of our Island as an ideal location for an ITU Regional Training Centre. This idea has now become a reality.

Malta's Economic Services Minister, Josef Bonnici (far left) shares a laugh with Mr Toure (right) and Maltacom Chairman Mr Zarb Adami (right – under flag)

The Prime Minister stressed the importance of this new and exciting venture that aims at creating an environment in which knowledge and expertise in telecommunications could be accessed and exchanged in a timelier manner. This project, he continued will offer the opportunity of a high quality education in telecommunications technology to anyone, anywhere and in particular to developing countries.

Mr Xuereb explained that by virtue of this partnership, the College would be recognised as an official partner of the ITU GTU/GTTI. This recognition will also be enhanced in all course documents, seminars, premises, offices, infrastructure and other activities related to this project.

The Manager of the College indicated also that the distance learning courses would be prepared and delivered by international and local experts, while successful participants in the on-line programmes will be required to physically attend a one-week seminar at the College. Additionally, Maltacom Training College and the GTU/GTTI will organise, every two years, a customer group conference for those organisations that have sent participants to the courses.

This important partnership will assist in enlarging and enhancing the quality and quantity of training programmes offered to developing countries. The College will therefore enjoy an enhanced international reputation, wherein its courses will have a higher profile and a far greater market penetration. The project will also provide a good opportunity for the College to acquire new skills and knowledge in delivering modern, electronically based teaching methods.


The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt