By Emma Elebeke
On Tuesday August 2nd, 2011, the name Desiree Chidera Nwadike was announced in far away San Diego, as one of the top four finalists to have excelled at the 2011 Certiport Worldwide Competition that attracted about 228,000 participants from 57 countries who competed to demonstrate their mastery of Microsoft Office products.
This no doubt, is an affirmation that the future of Nigerian education system is bright and a further proof that things are taking a positive turn for the better.
Desiree, a student of Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls, was not only the youngest participant at the competition but the first and only African to compete at the event in the Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 category where she placed 4th, after coming top overall at the National Competition in Nigeria in the Microsoft PowerPoint competition under the tutelage of New Horizons instructors, having tried several local and international IT (Indian) training companies mostly incapable of delivering the desired results.
Speaking on the feat, Corporate Vice President, Office Product Management Group, Microsoft Corp, said Takeshi Numoto, said “I am impressed by the caliber of students from all over the world who have learned advanced, certifiable Microsoft skills,”
“It was great to see so many students mastering Microsoft Office 2010. Office is used on more than one billion PCs worldwide, and these students who are deeply engaged in the product, which will help them realize increased productivity and efficiency as they use these desktop applications for school assignments and on the job,”
This year’s contest marks the introduction of the 2010 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Word and Excel exams, and also includes PowerPoint 2007 for the first time in the history of the competition.
Also commenting on the feat, the CEO, Certiport, Ray Kelly said “In its tenth year, the Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office continues to grow in popularity. We had a 49 percent increase in the number of students who participated from all over the world in 2011 compared to 2010.”
“We hold the competition to motivate and recognize students for mastering key technical skills that will help them excel in college and build their resume. I was very impressed by the winners, and holding the title of ‘World Champion’ will be a valuable asset as they continue in their professional lives.”
Meanwhile, in the concluding round of the competition, competitors participated in timed, unique tests to demonstrate their ability to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations for the information presented in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
This year, Certiport added a new component to the Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office. Each Word 2010 and Excel 2010 contestant was required to take the standard MOS exam, and was also asked to recreate an existing Word 2010 document or Excel 2010 workbook from a provided, printed example.
Winners in each of the five categories bagged a US$5,000 scholarship each, with Malaysian Clement Ng Chwin Chiat in mastering Microsoft Word 2010, Chen Xing of China in Microsoft Excel 2010, Japanese Mizuki Terao (Microsoft Word 2007), Briton Rebecca Rickwood (Microsoft Excel 2007) and Taiwanese Liao Yu-Xuan (Microsoft PowerPoint 2007).
For the CEO of New Horizons, Mr. Tim Akano, “Nigeria cannot afford to miss out of the Information Technology era as it was the case in the various eras of the past, going by our population and the expectations of the rest of the world.”
While Nigeria prepares for the next edition of the intellectual contest in Las Vegas, Akano urged other schools in Nigeria to leverage on the opportunity to showcase the stuff the students is made of at world stage.
This certification according to the New Horizons boss, also earns the students credit point in UK and USA universities.