PARTNERSHIPS continue to be a key component in the process of producing quality education here at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology.
This was highlighted during the recent donation of premium Cisco computer networking hardware to the university’s Mathematics and Computer Science Department by ExxonMobil.
The Oil and Gas company’s equipment donation is estimated to be at almost one million kina and will be used for both learning and operational purposes.
According to Computer Science Deputy Head of Department, Mr. Yaling Tapo, the project was initiated back in 2019 when he was seeking sponsors to help build the faculty’s capacity to cater for the increasing number of students.
Continuous dialogue with ExxonMobil’s Asset Management officer, Kimmy Ikwara, saw the eventual implementation of the project this year.
“Back then we had a significant increase in the number of students who were taking up interest in computer networking but most only had theory and simulated experience that basically wasn’t enough.” Mr Tapo added.
While thanking ExxonMobil for the much needed hardware, senior lecturer, Mr Benson Mirou, said that most of the equipment are networking switches that will allow students the opportunity to actually have hands on experience in their field of studies rather than using simulations.
“These are propriety hardware which are very expensive so we are very fortunate and very humbled to be able to have them donated to us especially when funding availability is a challenge for the institution.” He iterated.
He added that the department houses the Cisco Networking Academy program which students are currently studying under and it was only suiting that the Cisco hardware were made available to be used in the program to enhance the learning capabilities.
Mr Tapo and Mr Mirou said that the donation itself will see the department establish a long waited networking lab now to accommodate the equipment and facilitate hands on trainings for students taking up computer networking.
They added that such relationships with the industry partners was very important because both parties will gradually have a more in- depth knowledge of each other’s expectations.
“Industry partners will continue to support us as long as we provide the best quality education and training for our students who will ultimately be the industry partners human resource assets.”