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New initiative engages Manitoba students in 21st century learning

 

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA -  Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), with the support of Google Canada, Cisco Canada, and Canada’s Association of IT Professionals (CIPS), and with the Deputy Minister of Education for Manitoba Gerald Farthing, has cut the ribbon that marks a way forward for developing Canada’s future skilled and innovative talent.

ICTC’s Focus on Information Technology (FIT) community of teachers, schools, school boards, and Ministries welcome the Manitoba chapter with its first FIT school: Technical Vocational High School.  As the first high school in Manitoba to actively engage students in learning twenty-first century skills, Tec Voc students will receive hands-on, competency-based learning that is industry-validated and highly in demand on the job market.

“Canada’s future depends on our ability to stimulate young minds and keep them engaged and actively in control of their future success. ICTC’s FIT program aims to equip our youth with the right blend of knowledge and skills they will need to innovate and drive new opportunities in our digital world,” said Namir Anani, President and CEO of ICTC.

With the official MOU signing from the Ministry to soon follow, Manitoba joins New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia in integrating the FIT curriculum into its grade 11 and 12 classrooms.

“We are committed to ensuring that our citizens are offered an education that gives them the edge to compete globally and the hands-on experience they need to succeed locally. Our students will be able to adapt to new and changing realities to meet the needs of today and challenges of tomorrow,” noted Gerald Farthing, Deputy Minister of Manitoba Education and Acting Deputy Minister of Manitoba Advanced Education and Literacy.

Industry engagement in the FIT program is critical to ensuring that all teens, regardless of their geography, can and will have access to twenty-first century learning tools through both technology and education.

“As a long-term partner with ICTC, the Cisco Networking Academy program is delighted to be part of the Focus on IT (FIT) program curriculum. Over the last 15 years, Cisco Networking Academy has graduated more than 107,000 students in Canada and 6,000 in Manitoba demonstrating Cisco’s clear commitment to helping to build IT skills and promoting rewarding careers in Information Technology. We are pleased to support FIT as it brings these skills to Manitoba High School students,” stated Nitin Kawale, President, Cisco Canada.

“The FIT program is helping Canadian youth develop the creative, entrepreneurial and digital skills needed to succeed in a world where technology is fundamental to economic growth,” said Colin McKay, a policy expert for Google Canada. ”We’re delighted to be a part of this project in classrooms across Canada and look forward to seeing many FIT graduates become future Canadian innovators.”

This is just the beginning for Tec Voc and for the youth of Manitoba as it opens the door for all teens across Manitoba to gain a competitive edge in not only their communities but in the global economy.

To date, the FIT program has reached 150 schools Canada-wide and has issued 2500 certificates. FIT provides the necessary building blocks for an innovative learning experience that broadens Canadian students’ scope in twenty-first century business, technology and communications skills while completing their secondary school diploma. ICTC believes in investing in the quality of Canadian talent to strengthen our economic opportunities to compete on a global landscape.

The Focus on Information Technology project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program.

For more information, please contact:

Jeff Leiper
Chief Policy Advisors
Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)
(613) 237-8551 ext. 112
j.leiper@ictc-ctic.ca