The Higher Colleges of Technology-Dubai, Women’s Campus (HCT-Dubai), in collaboration with CISCO UAE and CISCO Kenya narrowed the digital divide among UAE and Kenya, by building a fully equipped Networking lab for visually impaired students at Thika High School
Three HCT-Dubai IT students, majoring in Network Engineering, participated in the International Work Experience Project in Kenya organized by HCT-Dubai Computer and Information Science Department (CIS), IT Services Department and Cisco Kenya.
Team prepared an inventory of disposable items (15 desktops with monitors, 1 network printer, 1 x 24-port switch, 1 x Wireless access router and UTP data cables) with the assistance of the IT Service department. IT students prepared equipment by installing software, testing, troubleshooting, packing and shipping the items.
This project enabled students to implement the skills and concept they had learnt at the college lab in a real-time environment. It has also helped the students do develop the professional development skills such as team work, interacting with different people from different nationalities, building their confidence and their ability to work as a team, dealing with special needs such as visually impaired students.
Dr. Nasser Nassiri, Chair of the Computer and Information Science department at HCT-Dubai said: “The trip to Kenya provided our IT students with useful international work experience in a real working environment. The project helped students to practice the learning by a doing approach and had used the disposed equipment to assist Kenyan students to be connected with others through the internet.”
Hital Muraj, Regional Lead, East Africa, CISCO Corporate Affairs said: “This was a great activity, showing the true power of collaboration across countries and cultures. This is the power of the human network. The students from HCT-Dubai were very competent, they did a great job. I would like to thank the entire HCT-Dubai staff and students that made this activity a possibility. Their contribution will leave a mark in this community”.
“The contribution of HCT-Dubai, Women’s Campus-Cisco Academy which resulted in the establishment of a complete Cisco lab at Thika Blind School in Kenya was absolutely phenomenal and unprecedented. The project holds many noble values which will remain for years. The project initiative resembles the collaborative relationship created between various academies from different parts in the world that truly reflects the give-back spirit,” Mumen Suliman, Regional Lead, UAE; Cisco Corporate Affairs commented.
Zahoor Butt, Network Engineering Faculty at HCT-Dubai pointed out that the energy, motivation and commitment level of all the students for this entire project and the tour was very high.
HCT-Dubai Network Engineering students expressed a high level of satisfaction with this amazing experience. “We were very impressed with the way visually impaired and deaf students use the Cisco academy program effectively in their daily life,” one of the students said.