Oracle Romania and the Romanian Government Train 1,600 Teachers in One Week
More than 160,000 primary and secondary school students across Romania will have access to Oracle Education Foundation’s Think.com program following the largest single teacher training initiative in the country. Think.com will help students aged from 9-18 to learn valuable modern skills like teamwork, project working and the use of the internet.
Oracle Romania has organised the country’s largest ever single training initiative for teachers. From 22nd to 29th November 2007, 1,600 teachers from all parts of the country attended a course to learn how to incorporate Oracle Education Foundation’s Think.com program into their primary and secondary school curricula.
The initiative was conducted in tandem with the Romanian Government’s Ministry of Education, Research and Youth following a pilot deployment in 2006 involving 16 schools. The pilot received such positive feedback from students and teachers that the Ministry was happy to endorse its extension to a further 1,600 teachers working in 800 Romanian schools.
Think.com is an online educational resource that uses Web-based technologies to teach students modern skills like team collaboration, project-working and the use of the internet as a research and communications tool. Hosted by Oracle, it is available worldwide and is currently used by teachers and students in 73 countries. Think.com was designed and is managed by the Oracle Education Foundation, a not-for-profit organization funded by Oracle.
Both Oracle Romania and the Ministry of Education agree that a program like Think.com can teach valuable workplace skills that will enhance the future career prospects of the country’s schoolchildren and school leavers. As the business and technology skills of its workforce hold the key to Romania’s future economic performance and its ability to compete in a global economy, the Romanian government has been very willing to collaborate with Oracle on the Think.com initiative.
“We are proud that this program is becoming part of the national education system,” said Megdonia Paunescu, General Manager with the Ministry of Education. “It will provide over 160,000 students per year with the benefits of a modern education.”
Stefano Cojanu, who is Oracle’s vice president for Education in Eastern Europe and the CIS countries, believes that other countries in the region can learn from Oracle Romania’s example. “This partnership is a good example of how companies and governments can work together for the benefit of the younger generation,” he said. “We couldn’t have done this without the support of the Ministry, the Teachers’ Institute and the local education authorities.”
Because Think.com is a free, online resource, it is available to all schools regardless of their size or location. “By providing access to online educational resources, we can improve the knowledge and skills of students in even the remotest parts of the country,” said Adriana Mircea, Programme Manager, Oracle Romania.
Even the training itself, which was held in a classroom environment, was made available across the country, with sessions taking place in ten locations in eight cities: Bucharest, Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Iasi, Focsani, Tirgoviste and Craiova. The training locations – and transport to them – were organised by the individual local education authorities, demonstrating the levels of willingness to include Think.com in the academic curriculum.
Following the training session, Think.com will be offered as an optional class to 160,000 primary and secondary students in the 800 participating schools. With 900,000 children currently enrolled in primary education in Romania, it is envisaged that some 15% will use Think.com to create websites for school projects and to learn to use the web as a tool for creativity, collaboration, communication and research.
“This initiative, combined with the fact that each year an additional 80,000 secondary students in Romania benefit from the Oracle Academy program [an Oracle-sponsored program to teach IT skills to high-school students], gives a very good idea of the strength of Oracle’s commitment to education,” said the Ministry of Education’s Megdonia Paunescu .