Major investments in training and development of the workforce are essential for increasing economic competitiveness, productivity, and the ability to make progress, especially in the Moldovan IT industry. This principle was applied by the Tekwill project, an important pillar in the preparation of the workforce to adapt to the current needs of the market for the IT industry or for other related fields in which specialized knowledge is in high demand. In this case, the Tekwill project developed several educational initiatives for students, teachers, IT professionals or young people who want to change their field of study in accordance with market requirements.
To facilitate beneficiaries’ access to its educational programs, Tekwill has launched an integrated online course platform, tekwill.online. This digital platform has a variety of exclusive content and is accessible to all those looking to learn new skills in the IT field. The educational materials have animated elements as well as video or text components which can be accessed free of charge by users. The courses of the “Tekwill in every school” program, also available free of charge to users, has announced the launch of the platform. Subsequently, it is to be completed with two other online programs under the Tekwill brand.
Tekwill.online – educational programs available for any age
The “Tekwill in every school” (TiES) program includes courses dedicated to students ages 13 to 19 and allows free access to innovative digital resources, providing knowledge and skills for careers of the future. It includes four modules of study:
- artificial intelligence,
- software development,
- creative industry,
- entrepreneurial leadership.
Currently on the platform there are three courses available: graphic design, programming algorithms in C / C ++, and Web Design and Development. The platform will soon add other courses of the modules. Each lesson contains a collection of interactive and compiling exercises (code interpreter) and at the end of the lessons, students can test their knowledge in a flash quiz.
Each course can be studied individually or guided by a teacher during optional classes. Through these courses students have the opportunity to develop their creativity, critical thinking, improve their communication skills, and acquire new digital skills. As information resources, mentors have at their disposal digital texts, explanatory videos, simulation exercises, interactive assessment tests.
Currently, 195 teachers and 5,327 students are already registered on the TiES platform, who will have more interactive teaching materials available. Both students and teachers are grouped into classes and each teacher can follow the success of their student in that class. Access to this information will help the teacher to check the progress of each student, to follow what difficulties the student encounters ,and to identify ways to help them with the possibility to personalize their practical homework. The platform also helps teachers to supervise the activity and growth of each student.
Through this online platform teachers will have the opportunity to apply new teaching methodologies such as the flipped classroom which requires students to study homework independently and come to class to discuss and put into practice the topics studied with the teacher. These skills were acquired by teachers in a training program where teachers participated in this past summer. Soon, on the platform, the course calendar will become functional, notifications and webinars will be digitized, and gamification elements will be added. Digital badges will also be created for each student’s progress to show the skills acquired.
“Tekwill Academy” and “Tekwill Academy Kids” are two other TEKWILL educational programs with online versions available to the general public soon.
“Tekwill Academy” provides programs aimed to increase the level of trained professionals in specialized fields. Eight courses have been adapted to the current needs of the labor market and will be made available to users:
- Java programming,
- C # programming,
- Programming in Python,
- Web Development,
- Manual and automatic software testing,
- Algorithms and data structures.
This program collaborates with major international providers by offering courses with world-renowned international certifications such as Oracle SQL Fundamentals, Oracle Java Fundamentals, and PMI-ACP Certification Training. In 2018 Tekwill Academy obtained SEETB accreditation for conducting certification exams in the field of Software Testing – ISTQB, and over 50 specialists have already certified their skills in this field.
“Tekwill Academy Kids” (TAK) will include training courses for children and adolescents aged 3 to 17. This program allows participants to explore their future from an early age. The aim of the initiative is to encourage beneficiaries to develop their digital skills, increase their knowledge, and discover their creative potential. In the first stage, TAK will provide six online training courses:
- Graphic design,
- Interactive programming,
- Web design,
- Mobile applications.
After each course, children will be able to apply their knowledge gained by participating or developing real projects.
The tekwill.online platform was created within the Tekwill Project with the support of USAID, Sweden and UNDP development partners. The content of the site was developed by the project implementation partners together with a team of education experts. The project is carried out with the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research.
The TEKWILL project is implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Sweden. “Tekwill” was created in 2017 as a Center of Excellence of the ICT sector in Moldova, with the main goal of aligning the field with the requirements of the 21st century. Aiming to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the IT industry and other strategic sectors of the economy, the center has expanded its fields of activity, becoming in 2019 a complex nationwide project. 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 country’s economic development by improving the entrepreneurial and educational capacities of society, but also by increasing the research and development potential of IT educational institutions, in line with the demand in the IT market.