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A Lithuanian school in Rokiškis, Juozas Tūbelis Pro-gymnasium, is to start teaching computer programming to its pupils in the first grade, in what may be a first in Lithuania.
Lithuanian school plans to teach computer programming from first grade
© Shutterstock nuotr.

In late January, under the Samsung School for the Future programme, digital training courses were run for teachers and education experts evaluated the digital change projects and awarded the school the top prize.

"Children are growing up with digital technology from a young age. Our task is to ensure that their interest is directed at learning rather than leisure entertainment. For several years, we have been working to and thinking about integrating smart technologies and interactive environments in teaching to promote logical thinking and creativity so this project has been the result of several years of work and searching result," said school director Zenonas Pošiūnas.

“Today schools teach only one core competence - the ability to memorize information and replicate it in the right place at the right time. Meanwhile programming - algorithmic thinking, the ability to plan their actions many steps ahead in development, it is a competence that includes many activities,” said Lithuanian robotics academy partner and instructor Kristijonas Vasiliauskas.

“200 years ago only the nobility and clergy learned to write, other people thought it was totally unnecessary. A similar approach is currently prevailing and with respect to programming but in everyday environments technologies are present which are becoming more personalized, so we have to pay people to manage. I think that after 20-30 years to pay program will be as natural as it is now read and write,” he said.

The EU Digital Economy and Society Commissioner Günther Oettinger has said that within five years there could be 800,000 vacant IT jobs across Europe only because people will lack the required programming skills.

The Juozas Tūbelis Pro-gymnasium project was submitted at the digital change project contest at the IT training for educators, the Samsung School for the Future in late January.

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