93,507 civil employees to be trained in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Services and the Ministry of Education

93,507 civil employees to be trained in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Services and the Ministry of Education

October 25, 2008

-ITA signs contract for Civil Service Employees Digital Literacy Training with Certiport (IC3)

- Other digital literacy certifications are still considered valid

ITA awards the contract for the Government IT Training and Certification (GITTC) project to Certiport. The signing ceremony was held at the Ministry of National Economy today. H.E. Mohammed Nasser Al Khasibi, Chairman of ITA and Secretary General at the Ministry of National Economy signed the agreement with Mr. David Saedi, President and CEO of Certiport.

Through this agreement Certiport will provide learning and certification on the global digital literacy standards of Certiport Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) curriculum and train civil service staff program lasting for about 3 years.

“The intent of this agreement with Certiport is at the very heart of His Majesty’s directive to empower Omani people with technology skills that provide a firm economic footing in the face of globalization and reach out to serve the public through modern means. We are very glad to associate for this ambitious project and they have proved their competency in such large scale operations in the pilot program run earlier”, said Dr. Salim Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA.

The GITTC is a project under the ‘National IT Training & Awareness (NITTA) framework which is a government, nation-wide eOman initiative aimed at developing ICT skills and increasing ICT awareness within the government and the community.  The GITT initiative aims to provide ICT training opportunities to the civil service employees in order in enable them to offer electronic services to the public and the businesses.

ITA has taken a special approach towards this initiative by running a pilot program to set the necessary milestone to successfully execute a country level IT skills training and certification program for all employees under the Ministry of Civil Services.

Ministry of Education (MoE) is a key partner in the GITTC and their cooperation ensured a successful GITTC pilot project. MoE provided the General education school computer labs as locations for training purposes and school teachers were trained to be IC3 certified trainers. Their cooperation is also assured for the formal GITTC training program where the school labs will continue to be one of the implementation channels apart from institutionalised training centers. 

In the first phase of the program the ITA intends to train new job seekers as trainers, creating job opportunities for approximately 200 Omani Nationals over the course of the project.  These trainers will then be placed at different schools across the Sultanate to roll out the training program for the Civil Service employees in those regions. A screening process will occur prior to the training where students will be divided in to beginner or intermediate or advanced level.

“This training initiative will truly be borne by the people of Oman,” said David Saedi, President and CEO of Certiport. “Once we train the instructors and transfer the knowledge to implement and conduct this training program, then Omani citizens will completely lead the rest of the GITTC program to success”, he added. 

The IC3 program follows the recommendations of the Global Digital Literacy Council, the preeminent advisory body that reviews and updates digital literacy standards, and is recommended by organizations such as the International Society for Technology in Education and the National Skills Standards Board.  Certiport deliver approximately 80,000 exams every month, in about 135 countries around the world.

In Oman, Global Skills LLC will be responsible for the consultancy and project management of the CITTC project and iPAC will be responsible for all IC3 certifications and technical support and work in partnership with the Ministry of Manpower and ITA.

“Up-skilling of the Omani workforce is key to economic success in the region and the achievement of an internationally recognized certification such as the IC3 qualification will develop and validate employees’ basic computer hardware, software and Internet knowledge and skills, measuring their ability to apply these skills and making them more productive in the actual workplace,” remarked Marie Taylor, Executive Vice President of Certiport EMEA.

In order to evaluate the efficiency of alternative digital literacy training programs, a pilot project was launched in early 2007 for selected employees of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Regional Municipalities, Environment and Water Resources. Based on the recommendations of a third-party independent evaluation, IC3 has been selected for the first phase of the training program. After this phase further evaluation will take place before launching the second phase where other digital certifications will be considered.  In phase one of the project the ITA will be working with Certiport and offering IC3.Other digital literacy certifications considered for evaluation during the pilot such as ICDL and Cambridge certifications are still considered valid.

To utilize the Internet connectivity speeds better, Certiport has developed a brand new offline curriculum delivery system to support the training and certification of the GITTC program. With students are now able to take advantage of training products that would once only be available in an online format while still be able to track progress by the instructors to ensure continuing development.  This system contains all of Certiport’s interactive materials for IC3 as well as PDF versions of the approved courseware. This system eliminates the need for a student to load a number of programs onto his/her system and also removes any compatibility issues that may occur.

The system is deployed on a secure password protected USB thumb drive making it a handy way for students to carry their materials with them so they can study in the classroom, in the workplace and in the home. The Sultanate of Oman will be the first country in the world to use this system which is now being looked at for other large scale deployments of IC3 in countries such as China.

With qualified trainers of digital literacy, the GITTC program will become an employment boom for the country and strengthen its e-government projects with internationally qualified technical staff.

About ITA
 ITA is a Public Authority created by Royal Degree 52/2006. It endeavours to consolidate and implement the Digital Oman strategy to transform the Sultanate of Oman into a knowledge-based economy for the achievement of social and economic benefits to Omani society. ITA’s vision is ‘Transforming Oman, Empowering You’. 
 Certiport and IC3 are registered trademarks of Certiport, Inc. in the United States and other countries. The Cambridge International Examinations Curriculum (University of Cambridge) was translated and developed by Abu-Ghazaleh Cambridge IT Skills Center (AGCA).
 Certiport prepares individuals with current and relevant digital skills and credentials for the competitive global workforce. These solutions are delivered by more than 12,000 Certiport Centers worldwide and include Certiport Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC³®), the official Microsoft® Office certification programs and the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program. For more information, visit www.certiport.com
 "Certiport" and "IC³" are registered trademarks of Certiport, Inc. in the United States and other countries. "Microsoft" is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
 Global Skills is a company registered in the Sultanate of Oman specializing in economic development projects and will be responsible for the overall management of the GITTC project and the recruitment and employment of Omani Nationals engaged in the GITTC project. For more information, visit http://www.gittc.certiportemea.com/
 About iPAC
 iPAC is the only approved Certiport Premier Solution Provider in Oman responsible for the quality of Certiport Centres and Certiport Internet and the distribution of exams for Computing Core Certification (IC³®), the official Microsoft® Office certification programs and the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program. For more information, visit http://www.oman.certiportemea.com/