Kenya National Library Service (KNLS) has partnered with Microsoft to launch online ICT courses.

KNLS’ ICT officer James Wachira said the system is available in its 60 branches across the country, giving people from all communities a chance to acquire the much needed IT skills which are used in many computer software applications.

He said that the online system is flexible and allows students to sit for exams at their convenience within 12 months.

Students can access the services free of charge at the various libraries where they first learn the basics which include Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Mr Wachira said that the academy will offer students technological skills through certified technical courses, adding that learners can pursue IT-based careers after graduation.

Skills transfer

Mr George Kiptalam, an implementer of the project, said the academy will ensure that a bigger population acquires training which will ensure transfer of ICT skills and a qualified labour force.

Mr Kiptalam said the digital literacy curriculum provides learners with essential skills for those new to computing.

“The skills are also applicable in the government’s laptop projects that are being introduced in primary schools,” he said.

Certification is provided by Microsoft through Certiport Authorised Test Centres (CATC) or Pearson VUE outlets.

The training is done at three levels. They include Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) and Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE).

“Earning MOS certification proves the ability to use Office applications for on-the-job needs and provides valuable distinction to help students enter higher education or the workforce,” he said.

“MTA certification provides a foundation of knowledge about technology along with the capability and commitment to do entry-level IT jobs, “said the managing consultant.

“Becoming a Microsoft Technology Associate can give students a strong base to support further learning in computer science or IT infrastructure.”

MCE certification enables teachers to validate their global educator technology literacy competencies needed to provide a rich, custom learning experience for their students, and is based on the UNESCO ICT-Competency Framework for Trainers.

It enables teachers to integrate Information and Communications Technology (ICT) into their practice.