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More than 2,000 young Sri Lankans have successfully completed a selection of IT courses offered by the CISCO Networking Academy, as a result of a collaboration between the Academy and the Commercial Bank of Ceylon.
Committed to empowering the next generation of technology experts, the Bank recently invited students over the age of 13 who are interested in enhancing their IT skills, to choose from seven IT courses offered online by CISCO, the world’s leading technology skills and career development programme.
The collaboration was launched as part of the Bank’s IT education-related CSR initiatives, with the objective of making optimal use of the IT labs donated by the Bank to schools to educate students in an up-to-date ICT curriculum and to enable students to obtain industry-leading certifications from CISCO, free of charge.
While the bank covered the lecture fee for these students, the CISCO Networking Academy provided the courses free of charge. Students who have successfully completed their respective courses now have the opportunity to win scholarships for CISCO career-ready certifications such as CCNA, CCNP and Cyber Operations which are in high demand in the IT industry, the Bank said. Currently, another 290 students are following IT courses offered by the Academy.
About 1,200 students of the latest batch to pass their respective courses, chose to follow the ‘Introduction to Cyber Security’ course which explores cyber trends, threats and the broader topic of cybersecurity.
Other courses offered included ‘Get Connected,’ a beginner course that explores essential skills such as how to use a computer, connect devices, and access search, email, and social media; ‘Entrepreneurship’ which provides business and financial skills, attitudes, and behaviours to help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset; ‘Introduction to Internet of Things’ that helps students learn about transforming any business in any industry; ‘IT Essentials’ which provides a comprehensive overview of computer fundamentals and an introduction to advanced concepts; ‘NDG Linux Unhatched’ that enables students to learn about the back-end operating system used by global titans such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, NASA, Tesla, Amazon and others; and ‘Cyber Security Essentials’ which covers the characteristics of cybercrime, security principles, technologies, and procedures to defend networks.
Under a similar initiative by the Bank in 2021, 3,000 students had enrolled to follow a selection of five courses offered virtually by the CISCO Networking Academy.
Under its education-related Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, which place emphasis on IT literacy on a national scale, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon has donated 243 IT Labs to schools and other institutions and is a partner in the government-private sector ‘Smart Schools’ project currently encompassing 65 schools in the Western Province.
The Bank is also supporting a project to set up 100 Smart classrooms that focus on the STEM subjects and is funding projects to set up math labs in schools and to enhance vocational training opportunities for students that do not qualify for higher education. The Bank has launched ‘Sipnena’ – its own innovative online educational website that brings the universe of knowledge closer to Sri Lankan children.
Additionally, Commercial Bank is funding a 150-hour IT hardware course conducted in collaboration with Academy for ICT skills and Development and CISCO Networking Academy in selected schools to offer an ‘IT Essentials’ course for teachers and students free of charge. The Bank has also supported the ‘IT Essentials-Instructor’ certificate course for teachers at the CISCO Networking Centre at the University of Moratuwa under this programme.
Cisco Networking Academy helps individuals prepare for industry-recognised certifications and entry level information and communication technology (ICT) careers in every type of industry. Students earn foundational competencies in ICT while acquiring vital 21st century career skills in problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking.
Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 12 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 940 automated machines in Sri Lanka. Commercial Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.