IT Academy Project to Boost Education in Informatics and Natural Sciences

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(stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 13 (TASR) – Improving the education of young people in the spheres of informatics, technical information and natural sciences is the main goal of a new national project entitled ‘IT Academy-Education for the 21st Century’ that was presented at the Science Park of Comenius University in Bratislava on Monday.

At least 300 primary schools, 200 secondary schools and five universities are set to participate in the national project. “I welcome the fact that even primary school pupils are involved in this project. We need to start at these schools so that children can realise how interesting technical and natural science subjects are,” said Education Ministry State Secretary Olga Nachtmannova.

The project is aimed at creating a model for education and training young people for the current and future needs of a knowledge-based society and the labour market with a focus on jobs in IT and information and communications technologies (ICT).

According to head of the Centre of Scientific and Technical Information (CVTI) Jan Turna, the money allocated for the project will be used to equip IT laboratories at schools, create new teaching subjects and set up new study programmes at universities. The authors expect the project to bring about an annual increase of around 1,000 graduates in the ICT sector.

“This is a project that for the first time involves primary and secondary school pupils as well as university students and practice itself,” stated Vice-premier for Investments and Informatisation Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD), adding that training teachers in this area also forms part of the project.

Pellegrini went on to say that Slovakia has to think about what issues it will be facing in 15 years, and the country must respond to these trends. The future of the country is in linking the automotive industry with the IT environment, he stated.

More than €21 million, of which some €20 million comes from EU Structural Funds, has been allocated for the project in the form of a non-returnable financial contribution. CVTI, which comes under the Education Ministry, is set to implement the project in cooperation with Pavel Jozef Safarik University in Kosice, the Technical University in Kosice, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, Zilina University and other IT associations.