The H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum IT Education Project (ITEP) announced today that it will extend its IT education and training services to the entire GCC region.
ITEP will offer all its training courses tailored to the needs of various groups including students in schools and higher education institutions, teachers, employees, women, and people with special needs. The initial focus will be on training programmes for employees of government organizations and teachers in the region
ITEP is showcasing its services at GITEX Saudi Arabia, which will be held at the Riyadh International Exhibition Centre from 23 – 27 April, 2006.
“ITEP was created six years ago as part of the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to promote IT literacy in the UAE to help its society and economy face the challenges of the new knowledge-based economy,” said Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Director of ITEP. “After your success in raising IT literacy among several sectors of society in the UAE, we are looking to provide the same programmes across the GCC region,” he added.
ITEP is today the largest IT training provider in the UAE and has trained around 85,000 people since its inception. It provides customized training programmes as well as internationally recognized certification courses. ITEP currently has 70 specially-trained IT teachers and 47 custom-built IT classrooms supported by an IT portal. ITEP also has the largest testing centre for the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL), the global computer literacy certification, in Dubai.
The organisation currently provides IT training to secondary school students of 39 public schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi through a specialised e-learning solution developed in-house and an innovative learner-centred curriculum. In each school where it provides training, ITEP creates a purpose-built IT lab that provides an ideal atmosphere for IT learning. ITEP has so far successfully trained 70,273 secondary school students as part of its schools programme in addition to another 2,086 students in summer boot camps.
ITEP also provides IT training to higher education institutions in the UAE. Its first initiative in this sector was to provide training to cadets of the Dubai Police Academy. Recently the Academy replaced its IT curriculum with the ICDL certification. ITEP has already initiated this implementation using its own ICDL GCC-approved courseware. ITEP also completely manages the IT training needs of the Islamic and Arabic College in Dubai. So far, ITEP has successfully trained 3,749 students of the Islamic and Arabic College and 777 officers and cadets of the Dubai Police Academy.
In 2004, ITEP announced its ICDL certification training programme for 6000 teachers and administrators of the Dubai Education Zone. Later in 2005, ITEP launched another initiative for teachers, the i-Teach programme. i-Teach promotes the usage of ICT in educational establishments by providing teachers with a professional development program that leads to the Cambridge International Diploma in teaching with ICT. ITEP has successfully provided ICDL training to more than 1300 teachers and administrators of Dubai Education Zone and It has also trained 185 teachers under the i-Teach initiative.
Another key part of ITEP’s programmes is the training it provides to government employees. The training is aimed at enhancing the productivity of each employee by upgrading their IT skills. Since 2002, ITEP has been actively involved in providing customized IT training to over 4200 employees of Dubai Police.
In 2005, ITEP was assigned the responsibility of training 12,000 UAE nationals working in various Dubai Government departments, to enable them to obtain the ICDL certification by 2007. Towards this purpose, ITEP has built one of the largest ICDL testing centres and is conducting the training using accredited course-material developed in-house.
In 2005, ITEP established a partnership with the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department to train and assist all their staff in achieving the ICDL certification.
Another milestone that ITEP achieved last year was the launch of a new IT literacy program for women. In a strategic partnership with the Dubai Ladies Club, an initiative of H.H. Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ITEP is conducting training to empower women with IT skills. It has set up an IT lab in the Club and is in the process of implementing the program.
A major component of ITEP’s programmes is the training it offers people with special needs. ITEP offers visually impaired students of Tamkeen, an initiative of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, with IT courses through innovative special-needs technologies. ITEP has also designed Tamkeen’s English and Arabic websites. The site offers a version designed specifically for the visually impaired and another for normal users. At present, ITEP is working to develop the world’s first Arabic ICDL curriculum in Braille, which will be available by the end of the year.
ITEP is also involved in providing a customized IT training programme for the hearing-impaired students of the Al Thiqah Projects for Employment and Rehabilitation aimed at enhancing their employability.
One of the unique projects ITEP has implemented is the digitization of the manuscripts of the Al Azhar Library, one of the most ancient libraries in the Arab world. The project aims to protect these precious manuscripts by converting them into a digital format, eliminating the need for physical handling, and archiving them for future generations.
The Al Azhar Library contains 42,000 manuscripts with 7,000,000 pages in 51 art subjects. To date, the project team has scanned over 17,000 manuscripts covering 1,500,000 pages in 51 art subjects.