School student is world champ at Office XP

27 May 2003

Limerick-based transition year student Andrew Flood has become the Worldwide Champion of the Microsoft Office XP Worldwide Challenge after competing against 53,000 students from 42 countries.

The student from Ardscoil Rís in Limerick undertook the test in conjunction with Prodigy, the Microsoft Office Specialist and international skills certification company IC3. In the competition, Flood achieved the highest score in Microsoft Word 2002.

The competition was run on a global basis through Centriport, the global administrator for the Microsoft Office Specialist Programme, at the beginning of this year. Each participating country sent their national winners to represent their countries at the XP Finals in the US.

In Ireland, nine Microsoft and IT Academy Regional Centres throughout the country hosted test fests for local students and participants chose to sit the 45-minute computer literacy exam in either Word 2002 or Excel 2002. Some 250 students took part.

National winners Andrew Flood and Jonathan Curran achieved 957 and 999 out of 1,000 respectively and got to attend the finals in the US.

Flood, along with the global champion of Excel 2002, was flown to visit Microsoft Corporation’s HQ in Redmond where he got to meet top Microsoft executives and received is award for world champion for Word 2002.

“Many other computer literacy programmes do not meet the minimal standards necessary to be called a qualification and can more accurately be described as a training curriculum,” said Derrick McCourt, public sector group manager at Microsoft Ireland.

“The Microsoft Office Specialist Program on the other hand is a global, professionally validated, standards-based certification that provides employers and academic institutions with proof that a certified individual has the essential computing knowledge and skills to succeed in today’s digital economy,” McCourt said.

By John Kennedy