20 FEBRUARY 2002
Speaking at the launch of the networking academy yesterday, Cisco systems representative Mike Couzens outlined the IT giants philosophy to provide ongoing education in an e-Learning environment.
The Cisco academy programme was launched in 1997 and the curriculum provides a mix of laboratory training and theory over 280 hours of teaching. Mr Couzens explained that the teaching is conducted solely over the Internet without the involvement of books or CDs.
Currently in Europe there are over 2,000 academies spread out in 83 countries. Mr Couzens highlighted the shortage of IT skilled workers in Europe with Ireland, Greece and Germany topping the list of skill shoratges in the sector.
Also present for the launch was Justice Minister Austin Gatt, who is responsible for the implementation of the e-government project and the setting up of the eMalta Commission.
Dr Gatt said that the setting up of a Cisco regional academy and the drafting of a curriculum was a feather in the cap of the eMalta Commission.
The minister hailed the agreement as an example of the public-private partnership policy government intends to pursue. The Swatar Training College, the ETC and the University of Malta are collaborating with Cisco and Melita Cable to provide IT students with an opportunity to further their training and education.
Education Minister Louis Galea, also present for the launch, dwelt
on the importance to bridge the digital divide. He stressed that the
success of the Cisco project, will go a long way to bring all sectors
of society together to work toward creating an intelligent society able
to exploit the benefits and opportunities offered by IT.