ICDL GCC Foundation, an organization under the authority of ICDL Arabia that promotes digital skills and cyber safety across the region, has announced the launch of its 13th ICDL Summer Camp with support from various government organizations, private sector companies, and education regulators and training institutions. The ICDL summer camp is free to participants and will be held in various groups for two months, running between June 29 and August 28, 2014 across the GCC region. Each group will attend the ICDL camp for 3 to 4 weeks to receive training and certification. The camp is being organized with an objective to spread digital competency and cyber safety among GCC youth, while educating them about the safe practices of using the Internet in order to safeguard them from online threats. In addition, it is also a platform where participants can utilize their free time in acquiring essential and practical skills and stay away from other social evils such as substance abuse.
While the ICDL camp is designed to combine educational and recreational activities, valuable prizes will be distributed to those distinguished performers. The UAE camp is in line with the UAE Government’s Vision 2021 to create a knowledge-based society by empowering its nationals, particularly the youth, with essential ICT skills. Almost 1,700 students from the UAE are expected to enroll in the ICDL camps offered as part of the Abu Dhabi Education Council’s Sayfuna Momayaz, first ever ‘Smart Summer 2014’ by Dubai Education Zone, and Sharjah and the rest of the northern emirates. Meals and transportation will be also provided to all participants at no cost throughout the camp while there will be a series of recreational activities as well as exclusive gifts from camp sponsors.
The certification programs offered at the ICDL Summer Camp will enable teenagers aged 14 to 18 to acquire essential computer skills as well as learn effective, responsible and safe practices of using digital devices and social media platforms. Training and certification will take place at ICDL accredited centers at prime universities and colleges across the country, including University of Sharjah, all the campuses of Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Abu Dhabi University and UAE University in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western region, National Institute for Vocational Education at Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), National Academy for Research & Development, and many more. A number of privately owned accredited ICDL training centers across the region will also join the initiative throughout the summer period and offer registration for reasonable fees.
Jamil Ezzo, Director General, ICDL GCC Foundation, said: “In the last 12 years, more than 55,000 from the youth across the region have enrolled in the ICDL certification program through the ICDL Summer Camps, which is a tremendous accomplishment for us. Our main goal in organizing these summer camps is to enable the youth in utilizing their free time in productive activities such as acquiring essential ICT competence as well as learning new social skills. It is also a way to promote voluntary and social work activities such as conservation of the environment among young impressionable minds. In addition, the camp will also be an opportunity for the participants to learn more about the history and culture of the region in an interactive environment. ICDL believes that it is a good way to strenghten community participation that can be a stepping stone in building cooperative partnerships among different social institutions.”
The 13th ICDL Summer Camp is supported for the fifth year by the leading organizations from the public and private sectors. The camp sponsors include H.H. Rulers Court in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Center, Dubai Education Zone, Ministry of Interior Child Protection Center, Sharjah Education Council; and responsible corporate citizens like ITP Publishing Group, HSBC, Etihad Airways, Canon, du, Dubai Water and Electricity Authority, Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD, Brother, Aquaventure Waterpark and the Lost Chambers – Atlantis, Yas Waterworld – Abu Dhabi, Dubai Dolphinarium, and Dreamland Aquapark, Umm Al Quain.
“We expect a tremendous response for this year’s program, as we will address topics such as social media and cyber safety that are highly relevant to today’s scenario where unrestricted Internet and smart devices have become so accessible by children. The camp will offer more value to our participants while empowering them with the latest trends in digital literacy that is vital in today’s life. We will be emphasizing on the risks of the Internet, including cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cyber addiction, and identitying threats and child exploitation. Since we believe awareness is the best defense, we will address the issues of cyber safety with the younger generation and teach them how to protect themselves from various threats lurking in the cyber world,” concluded Ezzo.
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