Vocational institutions urged to adopt Cisco courses

Vocational institutions have been urged to include Cisco courses in their curriculum. The Government of Uganda recently launched the Skilling Uganda programme under which we emphasized the need for incorporating ICTs in vocational training. I urge Cisco to bring on board these vocational institutions so that they can also produce multi-skilled and highly competitive graduates, said Hon. Nyombi Thembo, the State Minister for ICT. He was speaking during the opening of the Cisco Africa Networking Safari held at Makerere University on Tuesday 18 June, 2013. The two day event was organized by the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makerere University and Cisco Systems Inc.

Hon. Nyombi called upon Ugandans to embrace the Cisco courses since they are internationally recognized thus availing individuals an equal opportunity to favorably compete on an international platform for jobs. He thanked Cisco Systems for its commitment to help bridge the digital divide in developing countries.

The Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu urged the Cisco academies to diversify and offer more Cisco courses. I am aware that you have concentrated on offering courses like IT Essentials, CCNA, CCNA Security, CCNP yet Cisco has several courses on offer. I hope the deliberations from this conference shall identify new avenues of bringing on board a wider variety of courses and that these can be offered on an online platform, he added.

The conference attracted over 100 participants from Kenya, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa, Brazil and the host Uganda. The event availed Cisco partners in the region an opportunity to discuss means of maintaining the quality of information technology (IT) instruction by providing in-depth technical refresher training sessions for all instructors. There were various interactions between Cisco Instructors from the African region, heads of institutions that host Cisco academies, Local Content Managers, prospective employers for workforce development, and Cisco strategic business partners and resellers.

The CoCIS Cisco Academy was recently approved as an Academy Support Center and Instructor Training Center (ASC/ITC) for the region under the new Academy Architecture. This means that the academy oversees and supports all academies in Uganda and the neighboring countries that are affiliated to her in terms of quality assurance of the programme and best practices within ICT training in the region.

In East Africa, there are 155 Cisco academies, 342 instructors of which 22% are females. A total of 77,440 students have trained in the Cisco programme since its inception and 32% of these are females. In Uganda, there are 18 Cisco academies, 77 instructors “ 27% females and 18,376 students have trained since inception.

The Conference was sponsored by Orange Uganda and Dimension Data.

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