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UP gets $6-M grant to build IT training center

from INQ7.net

THE UNIVERSITY of the Philippines received a 6-million-dollar grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to build an information technology training center for college graduates and even working professionals, officials told INQ7.net.
Established to address the widening gap between industry demand and supply from Philippine schools, the center will be open to all college graduates that can pass an entrance examination, according to Jaime Caro, program director of the center.

Nobumasa IIjima, chief advisor from JICA, said the grant will be spread out over four years, and will cover the cost of equipment imported from Japan, the dispatch of “long-term” and “short-term” Japanese executives to the center, and counterpart training in Japan.

“This is mainly for the Philippine IT industry. But there is a possibility that graduates will be recruited to work for Japanese companies,” the JICA official added.

The Philippines produces about 40,000 ICT graduates a year. Sadly, only “a few thousands” are qualified to work in the local IT industry, Caro said.

The UP IT Training Center hopes to “partially address” the dearth of qualified ICT graduates in the country, he added.

The center will offer a one-year training program that will be divided into four semesters. Courses offered include computer science and programming, business skills and Japanese language, the executive said.

Fifty students will be accepted starting June 2005.

“After a year, students will be able to read specifications in Japanese,” he added.

Caro said the UP IT Training Center will likely be replicated in other UP campuses.


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