Microsoft and nonprofit P-MAT partner in Slovakia to equip people with computer skills, through the Project-40UP.
Created in 2007, Project-40UP was aimed at providing a basic level of computer literacy of the Slovak Republic in middle age. This initiative allows persons who have had historical reasons a minimal chance to receive an education in information technology, attend vocational training courses aimed to gain practical knowledge and skills in the use of personal computers.
The project was designed to help regions with particularly high unemployment rate and its aim was to increase the possibilities to be people with “handicap computer.” For three years, 53 schools participated in the project. Teachers of these schools have trained together nearly 7,000 people in Slovakia. With the rapid expansion of Internet connectivity to these people, it opened up access to further sources of information in conjunction with basic level knowledge of PC.
Another objective of the project 40 UP within Microsoft UNLIMITED POTENTIAL was to change the perception of schools to institutions of lifelong learning. In 2010 access to the course was open to three groups of citizens who experience barriers in accessing technology: middle-aged people, seniors, and those who have not had opportunities to familiarize themselves with information technology in school experience difficulties in finding jobs. With the grant from Microsoft worth $65,000, in 2010 the “40UP” project allowed interested people to acquire basic, as well as advanced computer skills. For the participants, the courses are free and they are provided with literature and support materials. Microsoft provides financial support to trainings of the lecturers, actual trainings, equipment and materials.