press release

Running for Petlja

Digital Serbia Initiative take part in the Belgrade Marathon to help promote programming in elementary schools.

Over 500 participants ran the Belgrade Marathon this year to represent the Digital Serbia Initiative, in order to help show support and to raise funds for the Petlja foundation – the driving force behind the free studying materials for programming at a young age. As part of Digital Serbia Initiative, a non-profit organization whose efforts have revolved around transforming Serbia into a digital society, it was another opportunity for multiple companies’ employees to unite in trying to achieve a common goal.

The marathon and half marathon runners, as well as the relay and Pleasure Race participants, from Nordeus, Telenor, Telekom Serbia, Societe Generale Serbia, Microsoft, New Frontier Group and Karanovic&Nikolic showed support – together with their families – for the petlja.org portal, emphasizing the importance of developing young-age-elementary-school algorithmic thinking. Along with the previous investments into the development of the Petlja portal, the companies participating in the Digital Serbia Initiative will make a donation to the development of educational materials for the seven and eight graders.

The 14 companies, which have been brought together by Digital Serbia Initiative, believe that algorithmic literacy is one of the prerequisites for the development of a digital society. Come the future, being familiar with the programming basics will have become a must for everyone, regardless of whether their occupation is related to the IT industry or not. It is precisely because of that that giving support to having obligatory programming classes introduced to elementary schools has become one of the most pressing matters of the Digital Serbia Initiative.

An additional incentive to the initiative was provided by a recent research study, which has shown that 81% of the Serbian population below the age of 60 is in favor of computer science and programming being introduced to elementary schools as an obligatory syllabus, starting as early as 1st grade. As a response to this need, the Petlja free of charge portal offers the possibility of studying in a modern interactive setting, with studying materials in Serbian provided, in accordance with the official curriculum.

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