BRATISLAVA, Slovakia, December 1, 2008 - As Slovakia is getting ready for the introduction of the euro on Jan. 1, 2009, secondary school students ages 14 to 19 can learn about the new national currency and the basics of banking and finance thanks to an e-learning course developed by the Slovak Republic's Ministry of Education in cooperation with Slovenska Sporitelna Bank and Cisco.
The course, available at http://euro.netacad.sk, is the first online curriculum developed for secondary schools in Slovakia. The four learning modules, which can be completed in about two hours, are focused on the Eurozone and the European Union, the euro as a currency, the national implementation plan, and banking and financial terminology. Following the completion of the online training, students can take a quiz to test their newly acquired knowledge. So far, more than 9,000 students from 240 schools have completed the course.
"Our long-term cooperation with Slovenska Sporitelna and Cisco allows us to take an innovative approach to the learning process, and deliver new and quality content to secondary schools. This was key to the success of the online education course on EU and Euro 2009," said Ján Mikolaj, deputy prime minister and minister of education of the Slovak Republic.
The educational content was developed by the economics department of the Technical University of Kosice, with support from Slovenska Sporitelna Bank. The Slovak Cisco Networking Academy® community, including several local and regional academies, took charge of creating the e-learning framework.
"With the Cisco Networking Academy, which has been running in Slovakia since 1999, we have built a significant experience in delivering online education. So it was a natural next step to bring e-learning beyond the Networking Academy program and create a curriculum for all secondary schools in the country. This age group represents the Internet generation in Slovakia, and they were very enthusiastic about e-learning," said Frantisek Jakab, the Networking Academy area manager in Slovakia.
To further motivate students to take part in the programme, the Slovak Ministry of Education announced a competition for participating schools and classes. Out of the 240 schools that took part in the competition, the award for best school went to the Business School in Michalovce (eastern Slovakia), where 351 students took the course, representing 88 per cent of the student body. The best class award was given to the Business Academy in Senica (western Slovakia), whilst the central Slovakian region of Banska Bystrica was awarded for having the highest number of participating schools.
"When we started to develop the concept of the "EU and Euro" online education course, there was no educational material covering this topic. The high number of participating students highlights that the young generation is interested in fresh additions to their day-to-day curricula. We were pleased to see their interest in topics such as banking, finance and euro implementation and are glad that we could help develop such a great tool before our country joins the Eurozone in January 2009," said Regina Ovesny-Straka, general manager of Slovenska Sporitelna Bank.
About Cisco Networking Academy
Launched in 1997, Cisco Networking Academy is a partnership between Cisco, education, business, government and community organizations around the world, aimed at nurturing IT professionals. The program employs an e-learning model, using a combination of Web-based and instructor-led training along with a hands-on lab environment to teach students how to design, build and maintain computer networks. Worldwide, more than 2.6 million students have participated in courses in over 160 countries since the Networking Academy was established. For further information on Cisco Networking Academy visit: http://cisco.netacad.net or http://www.netacad.sk.