An offshoot of the Jõhvi Coding School is set to open in the Southeastern Estonian town of Võru, in time for the next academic year, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Monday.
The school, dubbed kood/Võru, will among other things arrest a "brain drain" from the town, proponents say, and may even lead to tech firms setting up in the region.
The new school is being supported by the private sector.
Võru-based youth worker Emil Anišchenko told AK that: "When young people are asked why they don't stay here, the answer has always come back that there is nothing to study here, in addition to getting a higher education per se, that there is no range of options."
Meanwhile, Elle-Mari Pappel-Näks, board member of tech education NGO Tuleviku Tehnologijaharidus, involved in the project, told AK that: "We have been seeing that our type of education suits many who may not see traditional education as their thing, i.e. people who do not know how to, or who do not want to, sit through lectures, for example, or who are unable to acquire knowledge in such a way. Our education is very practical, meaning that you go off and start solving programming tasks."
Tiit Toots, head of the Võru County development center (Võrumaa arenduskeskus) told AK that the school would also be open to students from all over Estonia, while its work will hopefully raise the profile of the town as a possible location for a tech firm – given the ready source of skilled potential employees.
Representatives not only of Võru Municipality but all other municipalities in the county signed a goodwill agreement with the coding school.
At present, the only options beyond basic school (Põhikool) in Võru City are a single high school and also a vocational education center (Kutsehariduskeskus).
kood/Võru is set to occupy a former bank, built in 1938 during the First Estonian Republic, though it will require renovation work likely to take a couple of years, so a substitute, temporary site will be found in the meantime, ahead of the start of the planned first academic year of operation, in September.
There are around 50 places for the first year, with the only pre-requisites being a basic education and to be at least 18 years old, though school leaders stress that the experience will be quite different from that at traditional educational establishments.
The Jõhvi Coding School was launched in 2020 in the Ida-Viru County town of the same name, and addressed many of the same issues as the Võru school will.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera