News Release

Technical High Schools in Turkey Begin Training Network Specialists

Ministry of National Education Technology Department, Turkish Informatics Foundation and Cisco have joined forces to address ICT skills shortage
May 01, 2007

ANKARA, Turkey - May 1, 2007 - Internet and data communications represent a fast-growing sector in Turkish industry. As businesses - large and small - and public sector organizations are becoming more connected, there is a need for information technology (IT) specialists who can design, build and maintain state-of-the-art networks. According to findings published by market research group IDC, Turkey will need some 40,800 network technologies specialists in 2007.

To address the skills gap, the Turkish Ministry of National Education Technology Department and the Turkish Informatics Foundation announced their intention to offer, with the assistance of Cisco®, the Cisco Networking Academy® Program curricula at high schools. As a first step, the education program will launch in 21 Turkish high schools this year. There are plans to roll out the project in at least 200 high schools over the next five years.

The press conference held today in Ankara, Turkey was attended by Nizami Aktürk, general manager of the Ministry of National Education Technology Department (M.E.B. EGITEK), Hüseyin Acir, ministry director of Technical High Schools for Boys, Behçet Envarli, general secretary of Turkish Informatics Foundation (TBV) and Amy Christen, global director of the Networking Academy program.

Speaking at the press conference, Aktürk said: "We are starting the education program in 21 high schools that specialize in informatics education. Our aim is to complete the infrastructure in more schools over time and to train teachers extensively. Students who receive this education will be trained on information and network technologies at international levels and will be equipped with the skills to manage devices of any brand."

Envarli stressed the importance of the program: "Information technology is an indispensable part of our daily life and sharing IT skills is one of the most important milestones of this exciting initiative. With EGITEK's support, this has become one of the most important projects for the Turkish Informatics Foundation."

Teacher training for the first batch of instructors has already been successfully carried out at the Istanbul Technical University. The Cisco Networking Academy program and EGITEK will oversee the training of additional teachers as the project develops.

Christen underscored the company's commitment to Turkey; a commitment that was confirmed during a visit by Cisco CEO John Chambers to the country last September when he announced a major investment program.

Support for education and for a skilled workforce is a key part of this investment. Christen said: "The Cisco Networking Academy Program has been training people in Turkey since 2000. In the last seven years, 50 Cisco Networking Academies have produced more than 5800 graduates. The project we are carrying out with the Ministry of Education and the Turkish Informatics Foundation is an important milestone for the program."

About the Cisco Networking Academy Program

Launched in 1997, the Cisco Networking Academy Program is a partnership between Cisco, education, business, government and community organizations around the world, aimed at nurturing IT professionals. The education program employs an e-learning model, using a combination of Web-based and instructor-led training along with a hands-on lab environment to teach students how to design, build and maintain computer networks. Worldwide, more than 2 million students have graduated from a total of approximately 10,000 Academy institutes in more than 165 countries.

The Networking Academy program will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a number of events and activities throughout 2007.