E-literacy training for all govt employees in Oman
October 27, 2008
Khaleej Times Online
MUSCAT - Oman’s vigorous drive to create an ‘e-society’ has taken a new crucial step forward with the signing here on Saturday of a deal to provide digital literacy training to all civil service employees.
The Information Technology Authority (ITA) awarded the contract for the ‘Government IT Training and Certification (GITTC)’ project to Certiport under which the US firm will train more than 93,000 government employees over a period of about three years at a cost of RO8 million. Certiport will provide learning and certification on the global digital literacy standards of its ‘Internet and Computing Core Certification’ (IC3) curriculum. "This national training project aims at building IT capacities and provide locals with the required IT skills that enable them to face modern challenges," Mohammed Nasser al Khusaibi, Chairman of ITA and Secretary-general of the Ministry of National Economy, said after signing the agreement with David Saedi, CEO of Certiport. He added that the training scheme would be one of the "main pillars" for the country’s campaign to set up a "knowledge-based Omani society and achieve the strategic national aims of the e-Oman and e-government initiatives."
Besides dedicated centres across the country where training will be given, the Ministry of Education has allowed the use of its computer labs for the project. The scheme will create more than 200 jobs for Omani job seekers who will work as trainers after receiving advanced training to master global digital literacy standards and professional instruction methodologies. The Sultanate will be the first country in the world to use the IC3 system which is now being considered for deployments in countries such as China.
Dr. Salim bin Sultan al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, pointed out that the authority had initiated a number of infrastructure projects to pave the way for a digital Oman, such as the e-payment portal, e-government services portal and the National Data Centre, as well as, the Information Security Centre."These initiatives," he stressed, "will contribute to improving e-services and transactions in the Sultanate and help us to create a knowledge based society that will benefit both locals, residents and visitors to the country." The agreement with Certiport follows a pilot programme under which 378 civil servants received training and IT certifications. Ruzaiqi said the project would empower Omani people with technology skills that "provide a firm economic footing in the face of globalisation and reach out to serve the public through modern means."
GITTC is being implemented as part of the ‘National IT Training and Awareness’ (NITTA) framework which is a government, nationwide eOman initiative aimed at developing ICT skills and increasing ICT awareness within the government and the community.
The aim is to provide ICT training opportunities to civil service employees to enable them to offer electronic services to the public and businesses. In the first phase of the programme, ITA will train new job-seekers as trainers who will then be placed at different schools across the country to roll out the training programme for the civil service employees in those regions.