The Puerto Rico Information Technology Cluster recently gathered representatives from the government, private sector and academia to pursue the integration of computer science in the island’s educational curriculum.
Through the “Computer Science for All Puerto Rico” (CS4AllPR), program the group aims to empower future generations of students early on in these skills to prepare them for jobs now and in the future.
“As a representative of the IT industry in Puerto Rico, our ‘call to action’ with this initiative is for Puerto Rico to increase long-term human resource in this area,” PRITC President Alberto Cordero said.
“You can integrate a unit of Computer Science or ‘computational thinking’ from kindergarten through 12th grade that is a standard part of the curriculum. If we achieve this, it should therefore increase student interest in this type of profession and will produce the skills for it,” Cordero said.
The executive noted that there is already a CS4ALL pilot program in New York, which Puerto Rico will follow. The first step is to create the Computer Science for All Foundation to raise money to train teachers. Also, an agreement with the Education Department will be effected to determine the best way to implement the 10-year program.
Puerto Rico cannot continue to fall behind in this industry, he said.
“We have to implement this curriculum so that in the future we can increase our level of resources. Otherwise, we will continue to hire professionals from outside Puerto Rico, when we could encourage our own human capital and help the economy rebound with better jobs and quality of life for our people,” Cordero said.