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April 2004
The National Computer Center (NCC) today announced the launch of the NCC Microsoft IT Academy. The program will make training on Microsoft technology more accessible to IT professionals from the government and the academe. This was formally announced during an executive conference of the NCC's National Computer Institute.

Through the program, the NCC gains access to the Microsoft Official Curriculum, new product releases, and the latest Microsoft technologies, such as Microsoft .NET technologies and the Microsoft Visual C++® development system. More importantly, the program enables the NCC to offer government IT professionals and knowledge workers global standard technology training at affordable rates - and makes this even more accessible through the NCC's network of State Universities and Colleges.

The benefits the NCC will receive through the Microsoft IT Academy include online or instructor-led training for faculty members at regional centers, Microsoft product licenses, academic discounts on curriculum materials and certification exams, technical support, program management resources and tools, an online community and seminars, student portal, and monthly newsletters.

The NCC Microsoft IT Academy is part of Microsoft Philippines' commitment to support the government's workforce development program. "The work force -both private and public- is always in need of workers with the proper IT skills and capabilities," said Tim Diaz de Rivera, Director General of the National Computer Center. "Participating in the global Microsoft IT Academy Program is one initiative that will help us answer these demands." The NCC recently gave comprehensive technology training to faculty from different academic institutions as part of the program.

This tie-up with the NCC is Microsoft Philippines' follow-up to the successful establishment of the Center for Technology Excellence last year. The center was set up with the Virtual Center for Technology Innovation in Information Technology (VCTI-IT) unit of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to train and certify IT professionals from the government and academe.
The NCC Microsoft IT Academy is a long term commitment to assist in the development of the appropriate skills infrastructure to support the government's IT systems. The program is also seen as a means of further growing the number of Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) in the Philippines, which until last year was one of the lowest in Southeast Asia.

"Until recently, the need to pursue certification - a globally recognized standard of competence - was not taken too seriously in our country. The good news is that in the past year, we have dramatically increased the number of local Microsoft Certified Professionals, now surpassing the numbers of Thailand and Indonesia," said Mark Yambot, Corporate Affairs Director of Microsoft Philippines. The Philippines now has a total of 3,239 Microsoft Certified Professionals, compared to 2,300 in Indonesia and 2,718 in Thailand.

According to Antonio "TJ" Javier, Managing Director of Microsoft Philippines, "The fast-paced world of IT requires the workforce to have laudable technology skills. The NCC Microsoft IT Academy program is aimed at helping organizations like the NCC in their mission to deliver the kind of education to professionals that will realize their potential in the IT-driven workforce."

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