The Armenian Education Foundation is funding a 4 year Computer Information Systems degree at the Artsakh State University. The bachelor’s degree will be launched later this year as part of the new Computer Science department. The funding provided by the AEF will be used on hardware, software, lecturer salary and scholarships for students who prove to be worthy. The course will include software development, database design, PHP C#, Java and HTML5. These are valuable skills which would be prised by any student of computing within the state of Artsakh and across the globe.

The development is part of the iArtsakh project, a collaboration between numerous Artsakh organisations, which aims to better the education, science and culture outlets within Artsakh. For example, under the project, schools have been refurbished and computers and training have been arranged for smaller villages. The project aims to promote IT, modern technology, higher education, employment and empowerment.

Bill Gates is quoted to have said:

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting kids working together
and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”

It is especially credible that the project is pursuing qualified lecturers and academics to prepare the current generation of budding students for the technological advancements of tomorrow. These individuals will be better equipped to make the decisions which they will face as citizens of Artsakh. Whilst the target is the Artsakh youth, the degree is open to anyone from the Diaspora. The university is also looking for new or experienced graduates of Computer Science and IT from the Diaspora to assist with the programme or even teach some of the course subjects with financial compensation.

It is evident that the youth in Armenia have benefitted massively from technology developments within the country: Tumo is a good example of how Armenia’s children and young adults are hungry for technology. Tumo is a creative learning environment situated in Yerevan where students from age 12-18 are given the opportunity to take part in various technology-oriented workshops such as music production, film-making, programming and robotics. IT and Computing are equally vital fields within Artsakh and it is likely that the youth will embrace the new opportunities for professional development within the field.

The technical mind-set can harbour state development, social change and political movement. Where better to begin than at the centre of studying; and perhaps there will be more expertise in the Computing field which may lead to the development of an Armenian Silicon Valley.

— Andre Asaturyan

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