Microsoft Romania invests $1 million in an educational program called Alt Viitor to support the development of the digital competences for thousands of pupils and teachers from elementary schools in Romania, local media reported. The program is supported by four Romanian NGOs and will be active for two years.
According to the Country Manager of Microsoft Romania, Gabriela Matei, this initiative comes in a time when Romania needs to remodel its education and thus build a better reality for the future generations.
“Almost every day I witness spectacular developments in technology. As a representative of the IT industry, I can say that the need to prepare our children for a future where technology is central is very important”, says Matei, Country Manager of Microsoft Romania, go4it.ro reported.
“As a parent, I know that a solid construction of education starts in early childhood. Based on a strong mathematics school built some decades ago, Romania’s present is integrated into a general European framework with regard to the competitiveness of the active population, which also explains the presence of so many IT companies that have real hubs and contribute significantly to Romania’s GDP. It is time to engage all of us again, to remodel education in order to preserve such a reality in the future. Or even to build an even better reality, “says Matei.
The aim of the program is to develop critical and logical thinking among children in primary school and respond to national school curricula by proposing a Critical Thinking Guide and an Optional Integrated Information Technology Leadership for Lower Secondary Education.
To reach that goal, the program will support the development of digital skills, with focus on programming and robotics for over 11,000 students. Also, through specific actions, the project will raise the awareness of new technologies among over 160,000 children. To ensure lasting impact, Alt Viitor will conduct specialized training for more than 4,500 teachers across the country. Reportedly the project will be conducted in 8 cities throughout the country, starting with Brasov, Bihor, Constanţa, Tulcea and Cluj.
The training is to be conducted by the NGOs that are the partners of the Microsoft program: CoderDojo Tech Academy,E- Civis Association, EOS Foundation, Association for Professional Education and Development Step by Step . All of them have developed specific IT projects and platforms that will help the children and teachers to increase their digital literacy and IT skills.