India hands over I.T. training centre

By Tina Mata’afa-Tufele, 28/08/2021

The Centre for Excellence for Information Technology (C.E.I.T.) – an Indian training college for local I.T. students – was officially transferred from the Indian to the Samoan Government in a ceremony on Friday.

The Indian I.T. training institute has recorded a 100 per cent pass rate since it began operations in Samoa two years ago.

The institute aims to become Samoa’s premier centre of learning for information and communication technology. Ultimately it seeks to create a pool of graduates with the skills necessary to enter the industry, through courses in subjects ranging from programming to cyber security.

The head of the Centre, Shilpa Taneja, an Indian national, said 133 students have been through the program and each has passed their courses.

“One hundred and thirty-three students have enrolled in total and every student enrolled has passed successfully,” she said.

Currently, there are 24 students enrolled in the program that offers courses in Microsoft Office automation, business computing and advanced technology. Students also learn how to build websites.

The centre began in May of 2017 with a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) signed between the Governments of Samoa and India.

Staff with the National University of Samoa traveled to India in August of the following year to undergo six months of training.

In 2019, two trainers arrived from India to begin the C.E.I.T. project locally and, in February of 2020, the first classes taught here began. 

The centre held its first graduation ceremony in October of 2020. A second was held early this year in April 2021.

On Friday morning, India officially handed over the centre to N.U.S. and the Government of Samoa.

The Honorary Consul of India to Samoa, Va’atu’itu’i Apete Meredith spoke on behalf of Narendra Modi. the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, to present the centre to Samoa.

Va’atu’itu’i said it was “an honour” as the centre “will benefit all the people of Samoa…through N.U.S.” in the nation’s goal to produce “world class I.T. professionals”.

The centre includes computers, course materials and two instructors from India. 

On behalf of the Government and people of Samoa, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa officially accepted the centre.

She expressed thanks and gratitude to India for a contribution that addresses Samoa’s I.T. needs.

Va’atu’itu’i and Fiame signed documents to seal the handover.

Additional speakers included Aiono Dr. Alec Ekeroma, Vice Chancellor of N.U.S. and Lagaseu Dr. Edna Tamese Ualesi, deputy head of the C.E.I.T.

Prayers and a song to bless the opening and closing of the handover ceremony were led by Rev. Malotau Lafolafoga.


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