ORT students in Russia are joining the “world’s largest classroom” thanks to an agreement signed with American technology company Cisco. The Memorandum of Understanding will see Cisco provide free access to educational material in its Networking Academy and ORT play an integral role in Cisco’s plan to treble the number of its academies in Russia by mid-2014.
Six institutions in the ORT network have already started offering Cisco courses, including schools in Kazan and Moscow, the Tula Vocational Training Boarding School for Deaf Children, and ORT-Keshernet centers in Tula and Tambov.
“Often schools are divorced from the real world,” said ORT Russia National Director Dr Sergey Gorinskiy, who signed the agreement with Cisco’s director of Government Affairs, Mikhail Pakhomov. “Our partnership with Cisco builds a bridge between our schools and the real world.”
“We plan to teach our students Cisco’s CCNA-level courses, giving them practical professional expertise which will give them a head start in seeking work whether embarking on a career or as a way of paying their way through university as well as develop career skills such as problem solving, collaboration and critical thinking,” Dr Gorinskiy told eJP.
The partnership with Cisco is the latest piece in a mosaic of collaboration undertaken by ORT in the Former Soviet Union with the world’s leading IT companies.
ORT Russia has already established concrete partnerships with Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Kaspersky Lab, and IBS/Luxoft which draw in cutting edge resources and expertise to the organization’s schools and programs.
“Working together with these great companies not only raises the practical value of what we are able to teach our students, it also enables us to create warm relationships between our schools and the companies themselves: students go on trips to their offices to get a feel for what working there would be really like. And it’s increasingly common for them to meet there former ORT students who are establishing successful careers. It’s inspiring for them to see people just a few years older than they are, who attended their own school not so long ago, doing well in life,” Dr Gorinskiy continued.