At Oracle Academy, Oracle’s flagship philanthropic educational program, we’re proud of the work we’ve done to support computer science (CS) education and make it accessible and engaging to students. Although Oracle is headquartered in the United States, the impact of Oracle Academy’s efforts can now be seen in 110 countries around the world. As we move into summer holidays and planning for our next academic year in the US, I want to share a few examples of our work in other regions that reflect our mission to advance CS education.
Europe, Middle East, and Africa
In December, we announced a landmark $1.4 billion commitment to support CS education in the European Union (EU). As part of our pledge, we will train 1,000 EU educators in CS, Java, SQL, and database instruction, with the goal of reaching students across 1,000 additional educational organizations over the next three years. This commitment nearly doubles the number of European institutions we are already collaborating with.
We’ve also been busy outside of the EU. For example, in February, we expanded our relationship with Serbian schools and universities by participating in the British Council’s New Technologies in Education conference in Belgrade. At the summit, we, along with other leaders and organizations, discussed how to improve the quality of education by using information and communication technologies.
In January, we sponsored the 16th Annual Educational Symposium, Future Prospects in Education, in Antalya, Turkey. Organized by Turkish Private Schools Association, the event drew more than 1,200 participants, including the deputy minister of National Education, association presidents representing private educational institutions, academicians, scientists, and educational specialists. At the conference, attendees had the opportunity to learn more about Oracle Academy’s work, both within Turkey and at large.
Greece has been a leader in implementing computer science education for a number of years, and we’ve been honored to be a partner in this work. I’m especially excited that just this month, Oracle Academy received four Education Business 2017 awards for our work in Greece, including awards for computer science and innovation in teaching.
Speaking of innovation, we enjoyed participating in the United Arab Emirates Innovation Week during November in Dubai—a nationwide celebration of innovation—by coordinating an Oracle Academy Day as part of Code Jam 2016 in cooperation with Middlesex University-Dubai.
And in June, we announced plans to expand CS efforts in Egypt with an additional investment of nearly $1 million in educational resources and services over four years, in conjunction with our Let Girls Learn White House commitment. The pledge is part of a new collaboration between the Ministry of Education in Egypt, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Oracle Academy, which will support computing education in nine newly created STEM schools throughout the country.
Oracle Academy also has made important strides in Asia. Most recently, we entered a three-year partnership with the Pui Ching Academy in Hong Kong. The goal of the collaboration is to use Oracle Academy resources as key components of the STEM curriculum taught within primary and secondary schools. Within this partnership, we’ll engage with 25 institutions and 50 teachers, reaching approximately 7,500 students in Hong Kong over the next three years.
In January, we traveled to the Shenzhen Institution of Information College in China to train educators from 16 schools on Oracle Academy’s Database Foundations course, including teaching the attendees how to best implement the curriculum into their classrooms. Completing the Oracle Academy Database Foundations course will prepare students to sit the Oracle Certified Junior Associate Database exam, an important first professional certification on the certification pathway as students prepare to enter the workforce.
A hemisphere away in South America, we recently participated in the 4th International Congress of Systems Engineering event held by the Universidad Autónoma del Perú. More than 500 students and teachers attended the conference, which featured presentations on big data and the Internet of Things by Oracle experts.
We also held an Oracle Academy Day at the Maipú headquarters in Chile. More than 100 students and teachers gathered to learn about the latest Oracle technologies via hands-on workshops conducted by our experts. Incorporating industry-leading technologies into classroom curriculum creates authenticity in students’ learning, ensuring that what they are learning in school will help them when they enter “the real world.”
I’m incredibly proud of Oracle Academy and of what we’ve been able to accomplish in recent months, and I’m honored by the partnerships we’ve been able to develop globally. Since 2012, we’ve increased the number of students we support annually from 1.2 million to more than 3.1 million. The numbers are astounding, but what’s far more rewarding is something much less tangible: the long-term impact we’ve had on individual students’ lives. At Oracle Academy, we believe all students should have the skills and the opportunities to achieve their dreams. By partnering with educators and schools to help bring computer science to all students, we’re making that vision a reality.
Alison Derbenwick Miller is vice president of Oracle Academy.