The Microsoft Office Specialist National Championship 2017 took place on Saturday at the Sai Info Tech office on Handyside Street in Belize City. It is a competition that takes place in dozens of countries around the world aimed at testing the mastery of various programs in Microsoft Office. According to the General Manager for Sai Info Tech, Dr Kiran Vanjani, this is the first time it has happened here in Belize with the test focusing on Microsoft Power Point.
DR KIRAN VANJANI
“This is the first time this competition has happened in the country and I must congratulate all the students and the parents that took the initiative and made their children participate in this competition and this has made history for the country and everywhere in all the countries all over the world this competition takes place every year. The winner of the competition then goes to the US in California and there they have a competition against those 120 participants. After that the winners, those who win that competition are considered as the world champions in different areas like in word, excel, PowerPoint. Since it was the first time being held it was a new thing for Belize so we started with only one certification which was power point and that was the easiest one and so we started with that. With exams and other things and considering all the factors we decided to go ahead with one certification. All those certifications are available but for competition purposes it was only one and from next year onwards we will participate in all the certifications which will be word, excel and PowerPoint and the competition will be tougher as well because more students will be able to join.”
Dr Vanjani says schools countrywide were invited to participate in this year’s championships. Those participating include mostly secondary institutions from Belize City with Belize High School having the most representation.
DR KIRAN VANJANI
“The passing score is 70% as in any other exams, once you get that then you are considered passed and also considered certified by Microsoft and all those participants will receive a certificate from Microsoft in hard copy and in soft copy it is already there they can go to the board website and log in with their credentials and they will be able to see their certificate, they can download and print it, use it in soft copy and they can also publish it; the more certification they have the better it is. Further to that, this is a co level and then they can go ahead with that and become an expert and then the furthest level is master. So far Belize has not been participating because there was no center here authorized for Microsoft but now our institute Sai Infotech is the only one in the entire country where anyone can get certification and not only Microsoft Certifications we also offer Adobe certifications, QuickBooks and Microsoft technology associates and different certifications. So any certification you see when you go on the website Certipod* we offer. Our institute is now a Certipod authorized testing center.”
After an estimated two hours of testing, Angelo Santos of Belize High School came out on top as the first winner in this Microsoft certification championship which will now be an annual event.
“It was relatively easy because of all the practice that we did because all the practice was a bit harder. The competition was pretty easy. We were following instructions that we were given so if we were to add a slide or change the contents of a slide in PowerPoint we would have to do that and basic instructions that you have to follow.”
Santos will be representing Belize in the international championships in California, USA in July. Ten persons participated in the competition. The championship event was sponsored by Fultec Systems, Belize Telemedia Limited, DFC, Holy Redeemer Credit Union and the Love Foundation, among others.