Estonian Tiger Leap Foundation in September 2012 launched a program called “ProgeTiiger”, in the framework of which Estonian students in grades 1 to 12 will be introduced computer programming and creating web and mobile applications.
“The interest of students towards using modern technologies has grown year after year. With the “ProgeTiiger” program we create prerequisites for students to develop from consumers of software to developers of software,” said Tiger Leap Foundation training sphere manager Ave Lauringson.
In the first stage, the program concerns pilot schools, in the following years all public schools can join if they want to become part of the “ProgeTiiger” program.
The first ones to start with “ProgeTiiger” program lessons will be primary school students after their teachers go through corresponding training in September. Next year, programming hobby groups for middle school and selective courses for high school will be added. Study materials for all levels are being created. Tiger Leap Foundation’s initiative is supported by technology sphere companies.
Estonian Tiger Leap Foundation decided to start this project because they saw how many companies struggle to find decent programmers. This new program is expected to bring Estonia in front of the rest of the Eastern Europe in terms of IT development and growth.
Estonia is famous for Skype since it was developed by Estonian programmers and was run by Estonians, until recently was sold to Microsoft for a whopping $8.5 billion in cash. Estonia has one of the fastest internet connections in the world, which have allowed to grow companies like Skype and Playtech.
Back in 1997 Estonia decided to invest heavily in development and expansion of computer and network infrastructure and now they have gone even further by introducing programming to elementary school.
Does it means that Estonia becomes the first country in the world to teach programming for first graders?