Sun Microsystems’ Sun Educational Services (SES) division has concluded an agreement to provide open source training courses to CIDA City Campus as part of a consortium that is assisting the college to establish an ICT Academy. As the open source movement gains momentum, Sun is working with the Campus to address the skills requirements of this burgeoning market.

In addition to supplying the Sun StarOffice productivity suite, Java and Unix courseware, Sun is to supply funding for the trainers and 30 Unix workstations to the CIDA ICT Academy, pending the approval of a grant from Sun Corporate in the USA.

Other members of the consortium are T-Systems, SAP Public Services, Espial, CompTIA, Cisco Systems, and OutLearning, all of which will lend their expertise to provide the basis for the CIDA ICT Academy curriculum and will supply certification to the students.

According to Stefano Mattiello, managing director at Sun Microsystems sub-Saharan Africa, SES provides highly structured learning solutions that will assist those students selected for the CIDA ICT Academy to master the Solaris and Java environments. "SES will provide infrastructure as well as qualified and experienced training instructors for this project," says Mattiello.

Explaining Sun’s training approach, Mattiello says:"Training is not just about providing courses for people to attend, but rather about providing solutions to challenges so that successful enterprises are propelled by powerful education solutions." He explains that SES’ proven training methodology delivers needs-base skills development that secures performance improvement, allowing graduates to maximise the benefits of the Sun platform.

Students will be sourced from the existing second, third and fourth year students currently doing their Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree at CIDA City Campus, with elected courses incorporated into the overall academic curriculum of the BBA degree.