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Secondary Technical School in Prague, Czech Republic was recently recognized by Cisco for the growth of their academy.

Ivona Spurná, Cisco Networking Academy instructor and success lead, has taught at Secondary Technical School in Prague since 2004 when the school began offering Networking Academy courses. “Our headmaster decided to establish a Cisco Academy at our school. I was one of two instructors who started instructor training,” says Spurná. “Our students wanted to learn networking, especially Cisco networking, and have the opportunity to attain networking certifications and be competitive in their life and in their jobs.”

Students remain at the school for four years. They are evaluated continuously and in the fourth year they must pass the final examination. After that they can go on to university study or they can look for a job.

Giving Students a Competitive Edge

Some Networking Academy courses taught at Secondary Technical School are part of the official curricula, others are optional. Spurná explains, “The Cisco CCNA Exploration 1 through 4 courses have been fully integrated into our curricula since 2008. CCNA Security can be completed by students in the last year of study as an optional course. IT Essentials is partially integrated in the first year of study and concludes with some extracurricular practice lessons in the second year of study.”

Spurná’s school was recently recognized by Cisco for academy growth. When asked about her school’s secrets to success, Spurná says, “We just use the tools that Cisco offers. We train students using Cisco Packet Tracer activities and they also practice on lab equipment, which presents challenges the simulator does not offer. It is a very good experience for the students.”

The Networking Academy course completion certificates help instructors in teaching because students are more motivated. Spurná explains, “They know the certificates will give them an edge in the university or in their future jobs.”

Learning Networking in a Second Language

Many students at the school are not only learning networking, they are also learning English. Spurná says, “They must manage studying in English, but after that, they are more competent in the language and can use it to their advantage in future jobs.”

To help offset language-related learning challenges, the school supplements the Networking Academy materials. “We help students understand the essence of topics by also providing some written materials in our language,” says Spurná. 

Advice for Other Academies

Spurná has some advice for academies seeking to increase their number of students. “It is good to begin with IT Essentials. It is not too difficult and many students already know some things covered in this course.” She continues, “Mastering a foreign language is important for our students. After they have done that, they can continue with other courses like CCNA Exploration 1-4 and CCNA Security.”

About the Recognition for Academy Growth 

This award recognizes the academy with the best year-over-year growth for the last three years.

About this Academy

  • Name: Smichovska stredni prumyslova škola (Secondary Technical School)
  • Location: Prague, Czech Republic
  • Education level: Secondary technical school
  • Networking Academy curriculum: CCNA Exploration, CCNA Security, IT Essentials 
  • Year it became an academy: 2004
  • Number of students: 600
  • Number of instructors: 7
  • If you have any questions, please contact Ivona Spurná at ivona.spurna@ssps.cz 

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