Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr. Tarek Kamel and Minister of Higher Education and State for Scientific Research Dr. Hani Helal witnessed today the graduation of batches one and two of Education Development Program for Egyptian Universities (EDUEgypt).
The training program introduces "employability" skills to university students through providing them with market-based soft skills, language abilities and technical competence.
The two batches comprise 8000 students trained over two years to be ready for joining the employment market. The program is based on the approach of linking academic education to the requirements of the IT industry.
A number of presidents of Egyptian universities, professors, ambassadors and IT leaders witnessed the ceremony.
A presentation about the experience of the program graduates with sponsor companies and those that had employed them was given during the event.
Another presentation was given covering several-related issues including Egypt as one of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry competitors as well as the changes the Egyptian market had been witnessing. Among these factors is the increase of available and expected job opportunities, the academic side of the program and finally the contribution of the program to facilitating more job opportunities for fresh graduates.
Dr. Tarek Kamel stated that the Egyptian Government was keen to take effective measures through such a leading model to create thousands of distinguished job opportunities for Egypt's youth nationwide.
This target, he added, could be achieved through linking education to the employment market as well as meeting the actual needs of BPO through training university graduates on the skills needed for local and international companies.
For his part, Dr. Hani Helal stated that the effective cooperation between the two ministries has been materialized through signing a number of agreements to raise the quality of education in Egypt and follow international standards.
EDUEgypt has been one of the mechanisms of carrying out the strategy of MCIT to put Egypt on the map of countries operating in BPO. Such a strategy depends on attracting more foreign investments though facilitating thousands of well-trained human calibers.
The idea of the training program is based on training students before they graduate, instead of waiting for the post graduation stage, to meet the needs of the job market in Egypt and abroad.
ITIDA CEO Dr. Hazem Abdelazim pointed out that EDUEgypt is a major pillar for attracting more direct foreign investments in IT.
Dr. Abdelazim added that the program facilitates for students the opportunity to acquire the skills required for working in this vital field.
ITIDA offers the necessary financial support for carrying out the program. The agency also coordinates with other parties as to undertaking the program strategy. A number of leading international companies like Firstsource, Infosys and IBM provide the training.
ITIDA Board Member Counselor Amin Khairallah said the program proves the information and communication technology (ICT) sector's keenness to benefit from the experience of international companies specialized in training professionals and human calibers.
Counselor Khairallah added that cooperation with such companies highly contributes to helping Egyptian trainers acquire international experience, which is positively reflected on the level of students enrolled in EDUEgypt. The first phase of EDUEgypt kicked off in the second semester of the academic year 2007/2008.
It included five faculties at Cairo and Ain Shams universities. A total of 3000 students were enrolled in the program.
The second phase of the program started in the first semester of the academic year 2008/2009. It encompassed 5000 final year students at 22 faculties in the seven universities of Cairo, Ain Shams, Helwan, Alexandria, Zagazig, Mansoura and Assuit. This phase was featured by cooperation with three leading BPO companies in India.
These companies prepared and qualified 240 Egyptian trainees to work as trainers at Egyptian universities.
Training and testing processes for this stage were over in September. The employment meeting and program finalization is scheduled to be held on 20 December 2009.
In view of the program's achievements, the third phase has been authorized, kicking off in November 2009.
Stage one targeted 6,000 third-year students where training content focused on raising the students' language skills, and in turn, qualifying them to make the most of the program.
Stage two targeted 4000 students in the 10 universities of Cairo, Ain Shams, Helwan, Alexandria, Mansoura, Zagazig, Suez Canal, Tanta, Assuit and Sohag. The program was offered this year to 10,000 students at 35 faculties in the 10 universities. It focuses on the outsourcing industry.
The third stage of the program, held during the time from October16th, 2009 Ė October 25th, 2009, started by introductory meetings with more than 35,000 students attended by representatives of companies and former EDUEgypt graduates.
Training in the first semester began on 6 December and it will last for four weeks. It will be resumed on February 7th, 2010 for eight weeks. Another six weeks of training will be offered during summer starting June 28th.
Information Technology Institute (ITI) Director Dr. Mohamed Salem noted that the idea of the training program is based on training students before they graduate, instead of waiting for the post graduation stage, to meet the needs of the job market in Egypt and abroad.
Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) CEO Dr. Hazem Abdelazim pointed out that EDUEgypt is a major pillar for attracting more direct foreign investments in IT.
Dr. Abdelazim added that the program facilitates for students the opportunity to acquire the skills required for working in this vital field.The program is jointly carried out by the Information Technology Institute (ITI) and ITIDA.
EDUEgypt is an output of a cooperation protocol signed between Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in December, 2007.
EDUEgypt aims at meeting the needs of the ICT employment market through a skill development program targeting Egyptian university students and graduates.
The Information Technology Institute (ITI) was founded in 1992 by the Government of Egyptís Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) to assist in paving the way for the evolution of a knowledge-based society by developing a new generation of professionals. Due to its pivotal role in the development of the ICT field, Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif transferred the affiliation of ITI to MCIT in April 2005. Every year, ITI accepts a limited number of graduates of any discipline for its training program, which offers 14 different specializations. The programís success has resulted in some 5,000 graduates a year applying for places.