Computer science teacher Uroš Ocepek from Trbovlje Secondary Technical and Vocational School will represent us at the Global Teacher Prize. He supports that computing be made a compulsory subject in primary school.
Why did you become a teacher?
Because I had really nice examples in my teachers. I saw that it was a noble profession. Even now I remember them when I catch myself reacting the way they did.
I follow this profession because I can help students achieve their goals, acquaint them with knowledge from the past, offer the opportunity to acquire modern knowledge and try to prepare them for the future.
By example, I want to help them realize their potential in professional education and personal development.
Should computer science become part of the compulsory primary school curriculum?
It is crucial that it becomes a new independent compulsory subject.
Computing is present in all professions. Many argue that it would be enough to include only digital competences. I don’t agree with that.
A simple example: one of the innovations I made with my students and mentor Dr. Maša Jazbec, was an installation called BCI-painter: painting with thoughts.
What does that mean?
The user puts on a hat with eight sensors, imagines one of the offered brush strokes and without hands, just with thoughts, paints an abstract image on a digital canvas.
If a student didn’t know the basics of hardware, data transfer protocols and programming, then there would be no such innovation.
If they only had digital competencies, they would know how to use it, but not make, fix or improve it.
Sometimes it was important to be an expert in your (narrow) field. Today we live in a time when every expert must be with as wide a range of areas as possible.
Only in this way will we – especially our students – be competitive in Europe and the world.
The original version of this article was published on March 30th.