Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, in line with its overall goal of emerging and     staying first among its contemporaries in student-centred information and computer technology education, has established an lCT -based Cisco Academy to serve the information technology needs of its students.

Speaking to the Information and Protocol officials of the University at the Ikechukwu Iheanacho ICT Centre (IIIC) where he certified the establishment of the Academy, the Cisco Coordinator, South West Resource Centre, Mr. Isaac Olatunji Akoni, pointed out that FUOYE had met the requirements for being a Cisco Network Academy. According to him, FUOYE had a wonderful facility on ground and was therefore “more than qualified” for the Academy. He noted that the last place he saw such IT facility as he found in FUOYE was at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He therefore marveled that FUQYE, at just two years of existence, already has such advanced IT facility in place, beating all its contemporaries and older universities in the country. Such leap, he said, “must have come from a very visionary leader who understands that the world is now completely ICT dependent”. Cisco, an international corporation based in USA, specializes in producing computer equipment as well as software; providing also ancillary training services in the use of their products.

   Fuoye is More Than  Ready

With the mission of filling the global demand for networking professionals, Cisco has ten thousand academies in 165 countries. Through the Cisco Network Academies, of which FUOYE is now one, the company seeks to partner with universities and colleges in training students, not just in software operations, but also in hardware coupling and maintenance, with expertise to monitor and trouble-shoot enterprise- sized networks and manage wireless security.

The aim of the Academy is to produce students who, in addition to their academic qualifications, have added skills in networking and computer handling. The FUOYE Cisco Academy will prepare and turn out students who on graduation will hold their heads high on any job or aptitude test requiring more than the basic knowledge in computer and internet administration.

Mr. Akoni, who is also the Coordinator, Cisco Academy Support Centre for all Cisco Academies below the Niger and in all English-speaking West African States, revealed that two types of programmes are offered in the Academy.

The Information Technology Essential (ITE) is a programme designed to benefit all students, giving them more than a fundamental knowledge in computing and on the other hand, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is prepared as an advanced programme for students in the fields of engineering and computer-related courses to train them in hardware maintenance, and programme design and installation.This in essence gives the student an edge, in computer knowledge and usage, over his counterparts from universities that offer only the traditional curriculum on computer application and programming. The Cisco training is also a good reference for the university that produces such students.

The Cisco Coordinator stated that a would-be instructor in the Academy must of necessity, be a person with a background in information technology, who has a mastery of the English Language and possesses a good presentation capability. The persons must undergo Cisco training for instructors where they would be prepared for effective and efficient delivery.

He revealed that a Safari would be held at Abeokuta, Ogun State where Cisco Academy instructors would be taught how to handle new and upgraded lOT programmes especially as produced by laboratories of Cisco corporation.

Report by Chinasa Eze