The Accenture company attracted the jury of the 2017 Via Bona awards granted to socially responsible companies with its project aimed at increasing the interest of young people in informatics. Among other things, the project trains teachers to use more interesting tools to show schoolchildren that programming can be entertaining. As a result, they can learn the basics in an environment attractive for them, like Star Wars.
Encouraging young people to study information technologies is no longer just the interest of state. The increasing number of companies has introduced their own programmes, showing children that IT can be fun.
“If pupils find out that STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subjects are nothing to be terrified of, but that they bring great opportunities, even the interest of those who wanted to study something else might be awakened,” Karol Kniewald, corporate affairs manager at Cisco, told The Slovak Spectator.
Risks for the economy
The information and communications technologies (ICT) sector generates up to 6 percent of GDP and contributes a significant amount of money to the state budget. Moreover, statistics confirm that people working in the sector earn the highest salaries (€1,759 on average in February 2018) and belong among the most sought after occupations in the labour market. However, the demand for IT specialists exceeds the supply in the market, IT companies and associations warn. The problem is that the sector penetrates other jobs and nearly every profession now requires the IT basics at least.
“The solution is to strengthen IT education, but not only in technical schools,” Kniewald said.
The Education Ministry’s answer to the problem is the IT Academy – Education for the 21st Century national programme, whose aim is to “create a model of education and the preparation of young people for the current and perspective needs of a knowledgeable society and the labour market with a focus on informatics and ICT”.