Wednesday, 26 June 2013

ICDL @ICDL_GCC holds its 12th computer summer camp centering on social media and cyber safety awareness


Annual event showcases private-public partnership in raising cyber vigilance among GCC teens

Jamil Ezzo
ICDL GCC Foundation, an organisation that advocates digital skills and Internet safety across the Gulf region, announced that its 12th ICDL Summer Camp programme will commence from June 30 to July 25. The annual event reflects a major and long-standing partnership between ICDL, government organisations, educational institutions and corporate citizens, all of which are buoyed by a common goal to promote digital and safety awareness among young people in the GCC.  
Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL GCC, said since the ICDL Summer Camp programme was launched in 2001, more than 50,000 regional youth have received the ICDL certification, motivating them to be more resourceful, committed and independent learners.

“The summer camp forms a major part of the foundation’s mission to raise digital awareness and increase technological adoption rate in order to encourage today’s youth to broaden their computer competency. The event also promotes new social skills through interaction with like-minded youth. Not only will participants gain new skills and have fun this summer, they will also obtain an international certification that is recognized for credit hours by many academic institutions worldwide,” Ezzo said.
Like in the past, this year’s summer camp will be supported by organisation from the public and private sectors, and this year ICDL is expecting record participation due to the introduction of new intriguing topics to kids in social media and IT security.
The content of the training will empower participants to acquire essential computer skills and be able to responsibly use the various social media websites. They will also be treated to a series of edutainment activities and exclusive gifts from event sponsors. Meals and transportation during the 4 weeks activity will also be provided.
The initiative, according to Ezzo, has been crucial especially in the GCC where Internet and mobile phone penetration levels, as well as mobile device ownership, are extremely high. Independent research company Portio, which focuses on studies about the mobile and wireless industry, predicted that the Middle East and Africa will outperform Europe as the second largest region for mobile subscribers by 2016.
“Social media and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have become an essential part of the GCC population’s daily life. They are used not only by adults and professionals, but also by students in their teens as well, which makes cyber safety and digital literacy skills all the more important in this part of the world,” Ezzo added.
Endorsed by educational authorities and supported by a growing number of industry leaders from the IT, media, leisure and various other sectors, the ICDL Summer Camp will be delivered through a regional coordinated effort between ICDL GCC Foundation and renowned academic institutions including: University of Sharjah, Kuwait University and Sultan Qaboos University,. Additional training providers will be assigned by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) including branches of HCT (Higher Colleges of Technology), Abu Dhabi University and UAE University in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western region. A number of privately owned accredited ICDL training centres across the region will also be running the initiative throughout the summer period.
Among ICDL’s industry partners this year include Coca-Cola, Canon, Brothers International, Emirates NBD, Mashreq Bank, Atlantis, Nokia, Seawings, Dreamland Aqua Park, Dubai Dolphinarium, Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, HSBC, ITP Publishing, Sharaf DG andUPP printing.

For details regarding the ICDL Summer Camp, please log on to www.icdlgcc.org or contact +971 4 4540420. 

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