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PARTNERSHIP FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF IT AND STEM SKILLS IN ALL EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS. TEKWILL AND ATIC PROJECT SIGNED A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH MECR AND MEI
July 27, 2020 @ 10:10 am - 5:00 pm
A more developed IT sector and a more prepared workforce for market requirements. These are the main objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding “Development of digital skills, IT and STEM throughout life” signed by the TEKWILL Project and the National Association of ICT Companies in Moldova with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research (MECR) and the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure (MEI) of the Republic of Moldova.
The partnership aims to:
- increase students’ interest and motivation for education by applying interactive methods and the use of modern ICT equipment;
develop ICT skills throughout life, at all levels of education;
- provide education in the professions of the future for every student in the Republic of Moldova;
- develop the necessary digital teaching support and to equip the schools of the Republic of Moldova with technical equipment;
- support the training of teachers in the adoption and promotion of information technologies.
The text of the document is part of the activities provided by the National Development Strategy of the Information Society “Digital Moldova 2020”, and the memorandum was signed during an event held at the ICT Center of Excellence “Tekwill”.
Authorities’ commitments for the development of IT and STEM skills
According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure of the Republic of Moldova is committed to contributing to the implementation of activities by providing assistance for the introduction of ICT solutions in education, by promoting dialogue with local and foreign industry, development partners and of foreign donors.
Sergiu Raileanu, Minister of Economy and Infrastructure: “Technology and innovation represent the future. These are terms that have penetrated the most diverse areas of society, from business to sports, from education and health to a wide range of services. It is well known that skilled labour is the key element for business creation and development, and Moldovan IT companies face a shortage of skilled staff to meet the demands and challenges of the IT business environment. In this sense, innovative but fast-impact educational solutions are needed, which address both the quality of human capital and the entrepreneurial ecosystem, as challenges for digital innovation and successful IT businesses.”
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Research has announced that the process of reforming the curriculum has already been initiated and dedicated IT and engineering profiles for high school are to be introduced. Also, several school subjects were reconceptualized and a new module was introduced – “Digital Education” but also other ICT- basedoptional courses. Minister Igor Sharov mentioned that today the foundations have been laid for a partnership that complements the previous actions of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research. “The digital transformation of education is not only a priority, but an indisputable need of the Republic of Moldova to increase students’ interest and motivation for learning, by increasing the quality and learning outcomes of children and young people, following the application of interactive learning methods and modern ICT equipment”, The official underlined.
More over, MECR is committed to developing technical skills among teachers by developing a course to increase digital skills for teachers in general education. As for higher education, the act provides for the promotion of performance-based management and a system of motivation and professional growth, attracting professionals, including from the industry for teaching IT, updating continuing education programs and others.
Workforce development and private sector support – on the list of ATIC and TEKWILL commitments
According to the Memorandum, ATIC will promote public-private initiatives in the field of digital education and will also create and oversee the implementation of online skills training, testing and certification tools, including teachers in technical vocational education with pedagogical profile and will promote ideas, projects innovation and research in the field of ICT, etc.
Marina Bzovîi, Executive Director of ATIC: “ATIC is the representative organization of the ICT industry in the Republic of Moldova and is a supporter, promoter and implementer of various projects for the development of the ICT sector in the country. By signing this Memorandum, we are committed to supporting the transposition of European practices in the implementation of digital education at all stages of training, the promotion of public-private initiatives in the field of digital education, ICT career guidance, and capacity building of higher education institutions.”
Veaceslav Cunev, President of the ATIC Council: “Because we represent ICT companies, we know in detail their needs and the difficulties they face. This memorandum comes to reaffirm our commitments to the private sector and contains a series of provisions to be implemented in the next five years. Thus, we have assumed the responsibility to contribute to the implementation of the “Digital Moldova 2020” Strategy, as well as to the development of a digital economy and to face the global economic challenges. We will also promote in society and the business environment, ideas on the country’s potential to move substantially from a traditional economy to high value-added industries – IT and digital services, more modernized.”
Also, within the available funds, ATIC will contribute to equipping educational institutions with equipment and teaching aids to promote digital education in the general education system, organizing optional courses in the IT field, creating virtual libraries for students and teachers, etc.
At the same time, through the developed projects, the TEKWILL Project will contribute to the training of the workforce in the field by creating educational programs and will encourage young entrepreneurs in the field to develop businesses, services and software products in Moldova.
Ana Chirița, ATIC Strategic Projects Director / TEKWILL Project Director: “Emerging digital technologies are changing the structure of the international value chain, and Moldova needs to change its strategic approach to align with global trends. This reconfirms that education is an important component in preparing for tomorrow’s workforce, which must be adapted to market needs. With the support of our development partners, we will make major investments in the formation and development of human capital, which is essential for competitive, more productive, and long-term development-oriented economic growth. We will also contribute to the improvement of entrepreneurial capacities, but also of the potential of startups to build a viable ecosystem.”
“Tekwill in every school” – extracurricular courses for the professions of the future
Increased interest will also be given to the complex program of extra-curricular courses “Tekwill in every school”, which aims to train about 850 teachers by 2023 and increase the number of beneficiaries, especially those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Thus, to expand the number of beneficiaries, TEKWILL has developed a free eLearning platform, which contains four study modules for the new disciplines: artificial intelligence, software development, creative industry, entrepreneurial leadership. Moreover, TEKWILL is committed to promoting “Tekwill courses in every school” through partnerships with relevant institutions, communication with school managers and teachers, but also the active involvement of libraries in the country.
The TEKWILL project – The revolution begins!
The TEKWILL project is implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies, with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development and Sweden. “Tekwill” was created in 2017 as a Center of Excellence of the ICT sector in Moldova, with the main purpose of aligning the field with current market requirements. Aiming to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the IT industry and other strategic sectors of the economy, the center expanded its fields of activity, becoming in 2019 a complex project at national level, with the slogan “The revolution begins!” The basic objective of the TEKWILL Project, as a platform dedicated to the progress of the IT sector, is to ensure a major impact on the economic development of the country, by improving the entrepreneurial and educational capacities of society, but also by increasing the research and development potential of educational institutions, in line with the demand in the IT market.