20 Jul 2011 - Story by Albertina Nakale
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WINDHOEK â€" The Polytechnic of Namibia Centre of Entrepreneurial Development (CED) and Microsoft Tate Group have partnered to launch the first Microsoft IT Academy in Namibia.
The academy will provide students with affordable training and certification on the latest Microsoft technologies.
The programme will equip students with technical skills and improve their employability. It represents the type of public-private partnership that is key to Namibia's sustainable economic development.
The IT academy programme has established thousands of Microsoft IT academies across the world by partnering with educational institutions that focus on technology access and community development.
Speaking at the official launch on Monday, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Stanley Simataa, urged programme partners to offer affordable prices to interested students.
He highlighted computer education, saying it forms part of the education curricula in many countries, as it is important for every individual today to have basic knowledge of computers.
The advantages he pointed out are that computers include an efficient storage and rendition of information, quick information processing and very importantly, the saving of paper.
Simataa said the ability to operate a computer is necessary for entering into the job market with the majority of careers in today's society revolving around technology.
According to him, as the computer age takes over, companies face a difficult decision - they can either get rid of old employees who don't have the ability to keep up with the rapid changes in technology, or spend a great deal of money to train current employees and keep them up to date.
All courses are offered at three levels, namely beginner, intermediate and advanced and initial streams in Microsoft Office training, Microsoft technical training and certification and testing.
Dr Tjama Tjivikua, the Rector of the Polytechnic said the partnership with Microsoft provides access to the most innovative and current Microsoft technologies and training resources at affordable rates.
Tjivikua added that there will be a hands-on labs classroom and online learning, cutting-edge resources and collaboration tools at the disposal of students.
"We look forward to seeing our students and the local business community really benefit from the advanced skills they take away from the programme. We encourage all those interested in pursuing a career in IT or bolstering their skills to register for an appropriate course," Tjivikua said.
Tate Group played a key role in managing the project from conceptual stage to completion, and will be working closely with Microsoft to develop complementary services, including the successful placement of academy graduates into the local economy.
Registration for the courses at Polytechnic of Namibia is done and training is expected to commence on July 24 this year.