ADCO establishes ICDL learning centre

Abu Dhabi for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) has unveiled an ICDL (International Computer Driving Licence) accredited training and testing centre. By deploying the international computer proficiency standard, owned by the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL), ADCO aims to ensure that all its employees are equipped with basic computer skills.

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By  Alicia Buller Published  August 2, 2004

|~|Jamil200.jpg|~|Jamil Ezzo, director general of the ICDL GCC Foundation|~|Abu Dhabi for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) has unveiled an ICDL (International Computer Driving Licence) accredited training and testing centre. By deploying the international computer proficiency standard, owned by the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL), ADCO aims to ensure that all its employees are equipped with basic computer skills. “The ICDL programme ensures a minimum competency level for all employees and provides them with the confidence and skills to perform basic IT procedures which, in turn, reduces the burden on our helpdesk. This reduces our overall costs and, as such, we’ll receive return on investment (ROI) for the hardware and software purchased to assist in our e-learning project,” says Andre van Strijp, general manager of ADCO. The recognised standard for computer literacy in over 140 countries, ICDL is not a training course but an IT competency level that is acknowledged internationally through monitored testing. The inititiative aims to provide a measurable platform for IT skills, while improving productivity at work and reducing support costs. Modules offered include topics such as e-mail, internet, spreadsheets, databases and word processing which are all based on one standard syllabus. The seven official ICDL tests are provided at a cost of US$85 each. The vendor-neutral IDCL accredited centre will also enable ADCO to transparently assess employee IT knowledge across the board and draw out a plan to bring those with no or limited IT skills up-to-speed. In light of these benefits, ADCO plans to roll out more centres to service its 5500 plus employees. “We plan to add approximately five accredited centres to our onshore locations so that employees can learn with ease, knowing that the IT training they receive is close by and is flexible to use,” says Yehya Mohamed Al-Marzouqi, head of corporate development and training at ADCO. The endorsement of the ICDL programme by ADCO is another boon for the government’s drive to up computer literacy in the UAE. The oil giant’s testing centre is the latest in a string of local ICDL endorsements, including Dubai e-Government, the Ministry of Education and all the major colleges and universities in the country — which brings the total number of ICDL accredited centres in the Gulf up to 100. The programme has already witnessed positive results in Europe. It was this success that led the educational division of the United Nations (UN) to bring the concept to the Arab states in 2001 and sponsor the initiative. The UN was encouraged by the positive response in the Middle East, as the governments themselves were already planning drives to raise public internet usage and introduce e-services to their citizens. “The government has found it a challenge to raise local computer literacy and get the public to communicate with them online. Dubai e-government offers more than 600 e-services and, due to lack of internet knowledge, they have not been utilised enough. The ICDL and ADCO initiative is targeted at the public, so it will reduce the digital divide,” comments Jamil Ezzo, director general of the ICDL GCC Foundation. In addition, ICDL is currently drawing up benchmark standards with the UAE government for its ‘e-Citizen’ programme, a course that trains the public to use Dubai’s e-service portals effectively. “I think the Dubai government has done a great job in developing e-services, they’ve now put the wagon before the horse. But the biggest challenge is to educate the citizens in computing, so that they’re able to understand even the basics of getting on the net, like what is click and what is browse, and then we can go forward,” adds Ezzo. ||**||

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