Information Technology Academy (ITA) Activities
The Information Technology Academy (ITA) was officially launched in 10/09/2009. The project was funded by KOICA. The ITA was a result of cooperation between KOICA and KRG Department of IT. It is a modern state-of-art facility, nurtures human resources with skills in the field of IT for the government and region of Kurdistan. Since its establishment the KRG IT Academy has developed training relationships with major IT companies such as Microsoft, ICDL, Cisco and others. So far thousands of people have attended trainings, workshops, seminars and conferences in the KRG IT Academy. NGOs have also used the academy’s facilities and services; these include UN-Habitat, UNESCO, UNOPS, UNIDO, NDI and UNFPA.
In addition to learning IT skills, emphasis is put on how the newly acquired skills will help improve the trainee’s performance at the workplace and have a positive impact on his/her organization. ITA has been awarded official Microsoft Partner accreditation, making it an official Microsoft Academy. It can now be found on www.microsoft.com/education/msitacademy, when searching on Iraq.
ITA has over 200 hi-tech student workstations, 2 Internet plazas, 2 conference rooms, a workshop room, a student library, a student canteen and a 200-seat auditorium.
Since its establishment, ITA has been continuously striving to deliver modern IT courses and holding conferences and seminars.
E-learning Awareness Course for University Lecturers
IT Academy has conducted an E-Learning Awareness course on 12/12/2009, where more than 270 University professionals were trained on different classroom based applications. The training course was divided into four groups of lecturers from the Universities of Salahaddin and Soran and lasted for 2 weeks. The training course subjects included Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, Camtasia Studio and Adobe Captivate 3. These applications have a significant role in improving the way teaching is conducted.
Microsoft Digital Literacy Course for KRG Employees
Microsoft Digital Literacy course was launched at the IT Academy (ITA). In its first round of training over one hundred government employees were trained on basic computing literacy, additionally, eight ITA trainers were trained and accredited as official Microsoft Digital Literacy Trainers. Now ITA is offering the Digital Literacy course to all government agencies.
IT Festival for Universities Across Kurdistan
Under the auspices and sponsorship of the KRG Department of IT, Adgar Kurd Scientific Group held the third Kurdistan IT Festival hosted by University of Slemany on 11-12/05/2010. Over 130 students from 15 universities and institutes across the region participated and showcased 100 IT projects.
The projects ranged from software applications, hardware products, demonstrations of networks, databases and even remote controlled cars and robotics.
This activity aimed at promoting innovation, knowledge and creativity for all IT students across the region. Through an expert panel of lecturers from all universities, the top ten students were selected to receive an award for their projects. The award ceremony was held at the IT Academy on the 13/07/2010.
English Language Course for the IT Managers of KRG Ministries
The IT Academy conducted a successful inaugural English course from 1-26/08/2010 for more than 20 KRG Ministries to train their IT managers. In addition to learning English grammar and IT related terms, it aimed at enhancing the participants’ skills of conversation, formal correspondence and email writing.
Top 3 Graduate Awards
KRG Department of IT conducted an award and acknowledgment ceremony for the top 3 IT graduates from six state run universities in the region on 30/09/2010. The winning graduates were 18 students from University of Dohuk, University of Salahaddin, University of Sulaimaniya, University of Kurdistan-Hawler, University of Koya and University of Soran. The initiative was aimed at encouraging students to excel academically and provide an opportunity for the University Students and Faculty to meet and exchange ideas.
Enterprise Development through ICT
In the context of implementation of the EDICT project in Iraq “Enterprise Development through Information and Communication technology” United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Kurdistan Regional Government represented by Ministry of Trade and Industry and KRG Department of IT are working together for the reinforcement and expansion of the (Enterprise Development Unite) EDU in the Governorate of Erbil. In order to augment the existing services of this Unit, one additional component (e-learning) will be added to the EDU. This service will include providing training modules for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through e-learning methodologies.
Project Management Professional Training for Staff
In line with its policy to foster professionalism, efficiency, punctual delivery, and to run its work on a project-based trend, the KRG Department of IT delivered the Project Management Professional Training Course for 15 of its staff members with different levels of skills. The training, called PMP, is the first of a series of professional and modern business skills training programs that the Department has undertaken to further and develop its employees' managerial skills.
The training was 35 hours which consisted of 15 modules of PMP that were delivered to the participants and details were given on how to professionally plan, schedule, execute, and close any project. An international trainer certified by Project Management Institute (PMI) and provided by Dubai-based SitesPower Co. Ltd., delivered the training course. The Department had undertaken the entire cost of the training course.
Iraqi Kurdistan selected its Team for Imagine Cup 2011 Contest
The first local Imagine Cup 2011 contest was held Tuesday evening at the IT Academy in Erbil, Iraq. More than 100 students representing 8 different universities from the Kurdistan Region formed the 20 teams that participated in this event.
The 20 teams went through a qualifier round, which was supervised by judges from Microsoft and independent Kurdish IT Experts. Following a grueling three-hour process, three teams emerged as finalists, earning the right to go on stage in front of a live jury panel.
Team Hawk from the American University of Iraq- Sulaimani bested its peers and took first place and with it the privilege of representing Iraqi Kurdistan in the Worldwide Imagine Cup 2011 in New York, USA.
Wireless Minds, another team from the American University of Iraq- Sulaimani, earned the first runner up spot edging Team Regal from the University of Duhok by a small margin.
Imagine Cup is a Microsoft-sponsored competition held in a different country each year. Imagine Cup brings together young technologists and students worldwide to help resolve some of the world’s toughest challenges through technology-enabled applications. Through this competition, the participants will contribute to meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals by designing software solutions addressing the challenges to meet these goals, including 1- End Poverty and Hunger; 2- Universal Education; 3- Gender Equality; 4- Child Health; 5- Maternal Health; 6- Combat HIV/AIDS; 7-Environmental Sustainability; and 8- Global Partnership.
IT Professional Development Program for the KRG Employees
KRG Department of Information Technology, in cooperation with the US Army’s J6 Directorate based in Iraq launched an extensive 12 week training program labeled the “IT Professional Development” in July 3rd, 2011.
Concluded on 25th August 2011, the goal of the 12-week training program was to develop local capacity and create a professional foundation for the IT managers and staff within the KRG entities. The program had touched upon three main areas: Client Administration, System Administration, and Network Administration.
The training program was fully conducted in English, and the participants took 6 hours of class a day. Any given period of the training program was assigned to one of the technical areas above as follows: 44 trainees for the Client Administration track, 19 trainees for the System Administration track, and 22 trainees for the Network Administration track.
The significance of the training program lies in its depth, quality and content which were certified by Cisco, Microsoft and CompTIA. Also the trainers are certified by New Horizons Dubai, UAE, which is a world leader in training. The training program was funded by the J6 Directorate of the US Forces in Iraq.
Microsoft trains the KRG entities on desktop deployment
Protecting Intellectual property Rights and using official licensed software is an important part of Information Technology in any organization. Using unlicensed software creates an insecure and vulnerable environment. The entities in the KRG face some of these problems and that is why steps are being taken by the KRG Department of IT and Microsoft to work on solutions and deploy the latest Microsoft licensed software across the government.
As a first step the KRG Department of Information Technology in coordination with the global software giant Microsoft has successfully ended a 4-day training workshop called MS Desktop Deployment on 6th-9th June 2011. Over 25 key IT officials from the various KRG entities and a team from the Department have participated in the workshop, which is a part of the joint comprehensive plan between the Department and Microsoft.
The aim of the workshop was to familiarize and train the participants on deploying Microsoft’s latest licensed software products on all the computers used in the KRG entities, such as MS Office 2010, Windows 7, MS Security Essential, or any other antivirus or application software procured by the KRG entities. The product licenses are provided under the agreement signed between the KRG and Microsoft in 2006 before the establishment of the KRG Department of Information Technology.