The original was printed on 15min.lt
Programming is considered to be a profession of the future. IT professionals are among the most sought-after and best-paid professionals, but there is still a lack of adequate education in this area. Businesses have therefore teamed up with teachers. IT experts from an international corporation have developed modern teaching aids to help teach programming remotely and adopt experience from best practices in the field.
Visma Lietuva, a Lithuanian subsidiary of a Scandinavian group of companies, has presented a free programming teaching platform, Angis.net, which took three years to develop. It features professional programmers using simple yet expressive video recordings to teach one of the most popular programming languages in the world – Python.
According to Mindaugas Ubartas, head of the Infobalt Information and Communication Technology Industry Association in Lithuania, the shortage of well-paid IT professionals is a challenging issue in Lithuania. Yet the solution to it could be a proper education of the young generation.
“There are excellent programming experts in Lithuania, but in order to remain leaders in this area it is necessary to invest in the younger generation. Our children must receive the most modern education regardless of where they live if we want Lithuania to successfully compete in the global market and create a welfare state. The pandemic has proved that remote learning is also possible, provided that there is an appropriate technological solution and appropriate training methodology,” Ubartas said.
Professor Tomas Krilavičius, The Dean of the Faculty of Informatics at Vytautas Magnus University, has emphasized that there is a lack of IT knowledge among the secondary school pupils. “Unfortunately, not all schools today provide access to high-quality IT education for children. Often, teaching aids are outdated or not particularly attractive to adolescents. It’s not surprising that it is also difficult for teachers to foster the interest of young generations in IT. Many children are not motivated to improve their IT knowledge at university due to a lack of basic computer science knowledge. So, we are pleased we can contribute to this business initiative, and we believe that this new platform will impact a positive shift in the current situation.”
Mantas Urbonas, managing director of Visma Lietuva, which came up with the idea of the educational platform Angis.net and has implemented it together with several partners, notes that in the long term it should become a valuable tool for modern education used both at the educational institutions and for learning independently.
“We want educational opportunities to not be restricted by children’s social environment, financial capabilities or place of residence. Within our company, we have many examples where the ability to understand and master a programming language does not have to depend on any social or demographic factors, and the right choice made at school can become a solid foundation for the future,” Urbonas said.
“The sooner society understands it, the faster we will move forward. Programming opens up incredible career opportunities and we want as many children as possible across Lithuania to make use of these opportunities.”
Representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport have also welcomed this business initiative. Vice Minister of Education Ramūnas Skaudžius noted that the Government attaches great importance to the strengthening of technological skills in general education schools. “We support social initiatives of businesses that allow children to learn, wherever they live, while using the latest programming environment. This is especially true today, at a time of remote learning, when the importance of digital literacy in general and its impact on future professional prospects are becoming more apparent.”
The educational platform Angis.net is completely free, and this technological solution allows tens of thousands of users to be logged in and study at the same time.
“Quality content in the video format allows everyone to learn at their selected time and desired pace. An automated task–checking and assistance system helps monitor if a learner has absorbed the knowledge properly. Lessons taught by real IT professionals are more interesting, while the practical application of programming skills encourages teenagers to take further interest in the subject,” Urbonas added.
The idea proposed by Lithuania’s branch of the company has drawn lots of attention and already managed to secure funding. Following this, Visma Group units in other Scandinavian countries have also decided to follow the successful example of their colleagues – after the launch of the free programming lesson platform in Lithuania, it will be adapted and soon will start operating in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
The programming training platform Angis is already in operation in Lithuania and is publicly available at www.angis.net.