Fund B92 launches new campaign, "Battle for Knowledge"

In the school year when computer science will become a compulsory subject in schools, Fund B92 launched its national campaign Battle for Knowledge.

Source: B92

Veran Matic: Who is Nenad Bakic?

"For several years I've followed the blog Eclectica of Nenad Bakic, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, founder of a series of successful companies and the largest individual investor in the stock market of Croatia. I've been following the blog in order to be informed but also to learn something about commerce, investment, business philosophy, etc.

This enlightenment work he is doing to this day, but he has added to that the big project launched independently with his wife Rujana in the area of introduction of robotics into schools, by investing their own money but also by organizing the Institute for Development and Innovation of Young Croatian Makers - the biggest project to change the philosophy of education outside the official system," says Matic.

He points out that this is not about one-way philanthropy where money is gifted, but that, in addition to investing own money, added value is created through direct initiation of a revolutionary campaign in Croatian schools through which the largest number of students will become literate in the field of information technology, programming and robotics.

"The goal is to bring these skills of today and tomorrow to the broadest number of people who want to become literate pupils and teachers. This is the ultimate patriotic act, and through direct assistance to projects, his idea is taken over, first in Bosnia and Herzegovina and now in Serbia, with the intention of placing the franchise outside the region. Cosmopolitanism is also demonstrated, the universal nature of education and social responsibility," said Matic.

Initially, the "Code-Play" program will deal with the development of computer literacy among primary school students - thanks to robots.

"There is a robot in the box that will be used for the education of children who register for the campaign Battle for Knowledge; with this robot children can program various functions," said Miomir Popeskov from the Center for Creative Thinking "Kliker".

It consists of 38 parts which the children will assemble, program, and thanks to it, learn - this is the mBot.

The new teaching tool will be used by professors who themselves sign up to participate in the campaign. After undergoing training, they will teach children about robotics.

"For years, we have had a feeling that the government is one big abyss when it comes to information technology, learning computer science and its application in Serbia, compared to the rest of the world. The point is to bring robotics and programming closer to everyone. From this moment the first 40 schools that register, that wish to participate, in any part of Serbia, will receive 200 mBots," said Veran Matic of Fund B92.

The first 200 embots for the first 40 of the planned 1,000 schools in Serbia have been provided thanks to the donation of Nenad Bakic, who is already implementing this program in Croatia.

"Robotics is learned precisely through trial and error, it you try and it's not working, you're not afraid of trying, it means kids can learn, through robotics, to make mistakes, not through submitting to the authority who says that's how it must be, and no other way," said Bakic.

The campaign has also been supported by the Ministry of Education.

"We find ourselves in at least two components or two competencies, and they are the key competencies. One of them is digital literacy, the other no less important is the entrepreneurial competence," said Vesna Nedeljkovic, Deputy Minister of Education.

Fund B92 is, in addition to the interested schools, also calling on donors to help buy another 800 "mBot" robots, which requires about EUR 80,000.

In addition to donating the idea and experiences, Nenad and Rujana Bakic made a personal donation to the Fund EUR 13,000 to start the campaign in Serbia, which was used to buy 200 embot sets that will equip 40 schools as the campaign starts.

Teachers and schools can register by filling out a form on the website www.bitkazaznanje.rs

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