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Digital opportunities project GenerationXP

27 June 2002

Digital opportunities project GenerationXP helps equip students with new skills and jobs

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today celebrated the success of the government’s leading digital opportunities project GenerationXP and met New Zealand’s youngest MOUS (Microsoft Office User Specialist) Masters.

Since the GenerationXP project began last year, students in eight schools across West Auckland and Gisborne have gained new IT skills to help them succeed in life and support New Zealand’s vision of a knowledge economy.

In a New Zealand first, six students from Gisborne’s Lytton High School achieved the highest certification of MOUS Master, passing all five application exams in the MOUS programme.

All six students have used their Microsoft certification to secure part time employment as computing skills tutors. Two students have also been contracted to deliver computer-aided design (CAD) for a local boat building company as a result of gaining MOUS Master certification.

Trevor Mallard, speaking at an event at Kelston Boys High School in Auckland, also presented Kelston students with certificates for all their hard work - well on their way to becoming MOUS Masters.

“This project is a real winner. These are valued certifications which are translating into jobs - making our young people world leaders using modern technology,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Information Communication Technology (ICT) increases the learning opportunities and resources available to students and their teachers. When budget initiatives like high-speed bandwidth and laptops for teachers are out in our communities, these students will be vital in implementing the technology.

“One of the aims of GenerationXP is to trial a variety of ICT deliveries and methods. For example, we’ve put a wireless bandwidth technology, from BCL, into the East Coast - a difficult region to access,” Trevor Mallard said.

GenerationXP is one of the government’s four digital opportunities project pilots run in partnership with leading ICT companies including Microsoft, IBM, Renaissance, Compaq, and BCL.

Phase two of the project has begun with selection and pre entry training of students in the eight participating schools before the delivery of online training begins in Term 3. To date, about 600 students have enrolled in the MOUS courses and are sitting the exams as they pass the modules.

“One of our key aims is to build skills capacity in this crucial technology field. By delivering it free to senior students we are not only achieving that end but enhancing the general use of IT in our schools.

“Phase two will be delivered using new technology and we believe it will provide excellent research about the most effective methods of online teaching and learning over the Internet,” Trevor Mallard said.

Ross Peat, Microsoft Managing Director of Microsoft New Zealand said Microsoft identified an opportunity to partner with the Ministry of Education and other leading ICT companies to bring the benefits of technology to New Zealand schools.
“We were inspired by the chance to place our world class productivity tools into the hands of New Zealand students and watch those students develop and gain worldwide certification in the use of them,” he said.
“Microsoft’s involvement in the project builds our own vision within Microsoft of a Connected Learning Community, in which technology has a powerful role to play in helping students of all ages learn and develop.”

The six MOUS Masters are Jeremy Hunt (age 15), Bry Ashman (age 15), David Mackill (age 16), Matthew Hayter (age 16), Steven Berry (age 16) and
Levi Le Bas (age 15).
The eight schools involved in the pilot are:
Gisborne: Auckland:
Lytton High School Waitakere College
Campion College Rutherford College
Gisborne Girls' High School Kelston Girls' High School
Gisborne Boys' High School Kelston Boys' High School
About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners

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