News Release

ACT Government First to Include Cisco Systems' Networking Academy Program in High School Curriculum

CANBERRA, Australia -- 9 November 2000 -- The Australian
Nov 09, 2000

CANBERRA, Australia -- 9 November 2000 -- The Australian Capital Territory Government has become the first State or Territory government in Australia to include courseware developed by Cisco Systems for its Networking Academy program in its senior secondary college curriculum.

The Networking Academy program was set up by Cisco to teach the fundamentals of computer networking in conjunction with schools, universities and commercial organisations worldwide.

Seven senior secondary colleges and one private school in the ACT will from Term One, 2001, establish Networking Academies and teach advanced computer networking in years 11 and 12 using Cisco's Web Enabled study materials. As skills in the courseware are generic to computer networking, ACT students completing the course will be able to gain credits for their tertiary entrance score.

Bill Stefaniak, Minister for Education said, "Secondary colleges in the ACT are recognised nationally for the high quality of education they offer, and the diversity of programs offered to students. The Cisco program adds to the options for students, and further enhances their post school employment opportunities in the IT industry."

Mr Stefaniak welcomed the partnership, commenting that, increasingly, education/industry partnerships will be a key feature of quality educational delivery.

Peter Scope, Marketing Manager, Education Programs, Cisco Systems Australia & New Zealand, said the relationship with the ACT Government was significant because it was the first time a Department of Education had taken responsibility for the introduction of the program in a State or Territory.

"Previously, we have dealt with schools and other institutions on a one-by-one basis. In that context, this arrangement is a watershed development for IT education in Australia, as it changes the way the private sector and Government work together to attack the worsening IT skills shortage," Mr Scope said.

"Cisco's Networking Academy Course has been running since 1998 in Australia and New Zealand and currently has more than 4,700 enrolled students. Already, more than 550 people have graduated from that course conducted at High Schools, TAFEs and Universities. CCNA graduates work for a diverse range of organisations, such as Telstra," Mr Scope said.

The Canberra Institute of Technology will also be introducing the Networking Academy program to its students. The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), a campus of the University of New South Wales and a major teaching institution for non-military people at a postgraduate level, will act as the ACT's central Cisco Regional Networking Academy. ADFA will teach the teachers delivering the new courseware.

The Networking Academy Program

There are an estimated 143,000 students enrolled at 5,400 Cisco Networking Academies in 88 countries. Cisco has donated US$20 million to the program which is being implemented in cooperation with public and private educational institutions, business groups and community organisations.

In Australia, the Networking Academies program has been running for two years and already has more than 4,700 students enrolled at 102 academies nationwide. Many centres are located in rural areas. Major educational institutions such as Murdoch University in Perth, and the University of Technology, Sydney also operate Networking Academy classes within their business and computing science schools, respectively.

Students that sit the full course and pass relevant exams can receive accreditation as a Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA). The Cisco course is also in the process of being approved as part of the national vocational education and training qualification for Certificate III in Network Administration.

Participants range from high school students to professionals upgrading their skills or seeking to change career direction. All complete 280 hours of online and classroom-based instruction. The curriculum is vendor-neutral and focused on the basics of how to design, build and maintain computer networks.

The Academies program was started after Cisco recognised that many high schools, colleges and other educational facilities lacked the advanced technology and support materials required to teach such topics. The courses are designed to equip students to gain quality jobs in the 21st century arena of high technology and communications.

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