Gen-D – A platform that will accelerate digital education reforms across the region

The “Gen-D – Nurturing a Digital Future” program, implemented by Propulsion powered by Microsoft, was launched today with the goal of contributing to the digital transformation in education in countries participating in the program: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Serbia. In accordance with the strategic frameworks aimed at the development of the digital society in the region, the cooperation within the presented program will represent a resource for teaching and learning informatics, it was concluded at the panel discussion.

Digital reforms in education: Katarina Anđelković, Nebojša Vasiljević, Arjan Ymeri, and Adin Begić (left to right) / Photo: Aleksa Vitorović

The platform of the program will offer all the materials created in Serbia to students of the region in English, but in addition, in each participating country of the program (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Bulgaria and Serbia), program partners will work on the localization of the offered materials in an innovative approach to support and improve educational standards.

“Microsoft is always ready to support any initiative that fosters the development of the domestic IT industry. What we all have done together for the reform of IT education in schools is probably the most important success in the long run, because we are creating generations that will find programming familiar and easy. Therefore, it is important that we show and share this success throughout the region,” said Tanja Tatomirović, Communications and Philanthropies Lead for Microsoft CEE Multi-Country (region of 24 countries).

We are creating generations that will find programming familiar and easy: Tanja Tatomirović, Microsoft CEE Multi-Country / Photo: Aleksa Vitorović

Pupils in Serbia are learning programming as of the fifth school grade, while the computer science teaching program in elementary and secondary schools has been transformed in the past few years, making it one of the most successful in Europe. Until just a few years ago, the programming was only partly mentioned in the textbooks for primary and secondary schools in Serbia. Nowadays, the words “Python” and “Scratch” became common words during the classes. These are the names of modern programming languages ​​that provide an excellent basis for mastering the programming skills. Thus each student has the chance to become a programmer, in the country where IT industry has been one of the biggest exporters for years.

That is the reason why the same programming curricula model, developed by the Loop Foundation in Serbia, will be offered in the upcoming period in the four countries in the region within the “Gen-D – Nurturing a Digital Future” program. This project will offer the Serbian programming curricula model in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, and Croatia.

“This program equips teachers and students, young people, to use digital resources wisely and pro-actively in order to take the helm of their lives, careers, and ultimately their societies and countries. We are at the beginning of the road that will require thousands of kilometers traveled, months and years of dedicated work and probably millions of investments. All of us, who as partners stand now at the beginning of this road, are ready to invest everything needed to help young people build a better future in the countries across the region,” said Darko Soković, executive partner for strategy and development at Propulsion.

We are ready to invest everything needed to help young people build a better future: Darko Soković, Propulsion / Photo: Aleksa Vitorović

Panel discussion in Belgrade gathered experts from the region to discuss digital transformation and education reforms from the perspective of their countries. Panelists agreed that digital transformation is not just technology, but a call for re-imagining the future of education and the digital future of the whole society.

Participants enjoyed the performance of Vokal Kids choir / Photo: Aleksa Vitorović