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They are our future: Split’s high school program for web programmers

Nikolina Kukoč

Nikolina Kukoč

08.04.2021.

High school students attend OpenCoffee meetup

To guarantee the future of anything, you have to invest in it in the present in some way. To make sure a city or a country has its future, it has to invest in its youth because these young people are our future.
Split has to offer one bright example of such future investment in the form of a particular secondary education program offered at the School of Design, Graphics, and Sustainable Construction – the Web Programmer curriculum.

They have recognized the need for this change in our educational system and did everything to make it happen.

While the Web Design programs existed on the secondary education level, this particular high school program was never executed in Croatia before. The team of teachers from the School decided to change this and worked on the creation of this new program with support from Split’s tech companies Locastic, Agilo, and SeekandHit. Together they drove this positive change in our community towards its realization.

Their efforts were recognized by The Ministry of Science and Education that gave its approval for the introduction of this program in secondary schools in 2018. Up until that moment, secondary education for this particular profession has not been offered in Croatia, even though it has been quite common worldwide for years. While present in the programs offered at the higher education level, this was the first time it was also offered at the secondary educational level.

The preparation of this curriculum and its occupational standards were preceded by many years spent analyzing the needs of the tech sector, the execution of similar educational programs in European schools, as well as harmonization with the national educational strategies and Croatia’s vocational curriculum. This detailed overview into many aspects that needed to be carefully considered resulted in the creation of an educational program with a two-part curriculum.

The two parts that make this program’s curriculum are general education and professional education.

General education gives students some basic knowledge about a variety of different topics. It also provides them with quality preparation for the state exam and continued learning in higher education if they so choose.

The professional part focuses on the particular knowledge and skill set needed for this profession and is divided into two sections: compulsory and elective modules. The compulsory module offers courses such as Basics of Computing, Web Programming, Web Design, Databases, and Java Script Technologies that are followed throughout the four-year schooling. The elective modules offer the possibility of a narrower specialization. The 2nd-grade students can choose which educational path to take by selecting subjects related to computer networks, microcontrollers, or the development of mobile applications.

This program is attractive for another reason as well: they offer a course in Basics of Entrepreneurship during the final year of the program.

While there is a shortage of professionals of this profile in the labor market, having additional skills that can boost the employability of the students, as well as equip them with the knowledge needed to be successful if they choose a self-employment path, is a great added benefit.

In addition to nurturing their thirst for knowledge inside the school walls, their teachers also encourage them to build connections with the community by actively taking part in it. Therefore, numerous students have participated in OpenCoffee Meetups and other activities of Split Tech City.

In this way, they have become members of the local tech community right from their very beginnings.

With this type of secondary education program available right here in our city and with young minds driven to learn while actively taking part in the local community, our future is guaranteed!

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About author:

Nikolina Kukoč

Researching is woven into my DNA, but I'm a musician at heart. Interested in too many things and always curious. Forever in love with Split and enchanted by people who teach me new things. When I'm not writing about Split's tech community, you will find me somewhere in nature, in the theatre, or with my head stuck in a book. I do my best to live by the verse from the opera "Fedora" by Umberto Giordano: "Love forbids you not to love."

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