News Release

Rio City Government in Brazil Offers IT Courses for Disadvantaged Residents

Department of Science and Technology Sets Up Cisco Networking Academy Classes in Rio's Poor Communities; Favela da Rocinha Will Be First to Offer Certifications
May 17, 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, May 17, 2011–The Rio city government, through the Department of Science and Technology, has launched an unique IT training program in the city's most disadvantaged areas in order to help residents acquire relevant job skills and become certified to perform in-demand IT networking tasks. 

The city is offering courses in telecommunications and technology from the Cisco® Networking Academy® program at Casa Rio Digital, an initiative to promote computer use by the population in community centers located in poor neighborhoods and to train people in skills needed to find good jobs. The first class began in April in Favela da Rocinha. Five hundred students in Rio are expected to receive Cisco certifications this year, including CCNA®, in the area of ​​data communication networks, and CCNP® for network professionals. 

The project, conducted with Cisco Brazil, brings Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods into a network that serves more than 1 million students in 165 countries, with 25,000 in Brazil alone. Since it was launched in the country in 2001, the Networking Academy program has trained more than 100,000 students through partnerships with over 300 educational institutions in Brazil.

Beyond Rocinha, the Networking Academy will be offered at Villa Kennedy, Morro de Santa Cruz, Penha and Complexo do Alemão. The first classes followed the IT Essentials curriculum, which covers basic skills in hardware and software, such as the configuration of computers and the installation of operating systems and software.

"The Cisco Networking Academy project, integrated with the Public Policy of Science and Technology, contributes to the effort and commitment of federal, state and municipal governments to prioritize the training of a capable workforce able to absorb new skills and be integrated into efficient systems of innovation," said Franklin Coelho, municipal secretary of Science and Technology, Rio. "The project is designed to help overcome not only social and geographic boundaries but also those in science and technology."

"The launch of Cisco Networking Academy program in the poor communities of Rio de Janeiro is an important step taken by the city government to provide vocational training to low-income young people while reinforcing the fundamental role of education in combating violence," said Rodrigo Abreu, managing director Cisco Brazil.

The Networking Academy program at Casa Rio Digital has also provided teachers with training and educational materials donated by Cisco.

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