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MT 8 May 2016

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46 Events maltatoday, SUNDAY, 8 MAY 2016 Applications for 'eSkills for jobs' competition 2016 are now open FOLLOWING on the heels of last year's success with the eSkills for Jobs 2015 European video compe- tition, the eSkills Malta founda- tion is pleased to announce that applications for this year's com- petition are now open. This year the focus of the com- petition is on video games, apps and educational digital skills. The first category, which is the Young Digital Talent, is aimed at people between the ages of 16 and 25 who have an interest in coding and video game development. The competition is open to all EU members and anyone with good digital skills, creative ideas and the motivation and keenness to get a foothold into this exciting and dynamic world. All you need is a good work- ing knowledge of the popular programming language Scratch, a programming language that makes it easy to create and share interactive art, stories, simula- tions, and games online. The second category is aimed at developers with outstanding digital skills which essentially covers teachers with a remark- able use of ICT in the classroom. The category is aimed at teachers who enrolled in the 2nd round of the MOOC of European School- net Academy and interested par- ties will need to produce a video which highlights a lesson that fo- cuses on the best way to develop students' digital skills. The third and final category is aimed at a slightly older demo- graphic, 18 to 35 year olds, with a keen interest in coding and mo- bile app development. Anyone with a basic understanding of coding, coupled with the neces- sary creative mind and entrepre- neurial spirit, required to produce an app, should take part. Ideally the app should be of interest and use to the public at large, with winners in this category winning a scholarship to the App Academy in Amsterdam. All submissions must include the eSkills for Jobs 2015-2016 campaign logo. Further details for the deadline and submission instructions can be found on htt- ps://w w 4jobsMT/ or mt. A list of last year's winners is available on http://eskills4jobs. The eSkills Malta Foundation is a partnership of various rep- resentatives from government, industry and education which aims to advise government and stakeholders on matters related to the national eSkills policy and to contribute to the expansion of ICT educational programmes and related initiatives. The founda- tion also aims to lead an ICT pro- fessionalism development pro- gramme and encourage further reform in the ICT educational of- ferings, championing campaigns and promote the Maltese eSkills potential locally and internation- ally. Paragon, FOPSIM team up on social inclusion PARAGON Europe together with the Foundation for the promo- tion of social inclusion Malta (FOPSIM) led the seminars for the 'All special kids – parents' and 'Integration through learn- ing' projects at the Corinthia palace hotel on 28thApril, 2016. The event was very successful, attended by NGOs, civil society organisations, representatives from public institutions like ETC and KNPD, Agenzija Sapport, representatives from University of Malta, head of schools, teach- ers, NGOs dealing with disabili- ties, parents, families and many other guests and collaborators. Both projects are EU-funded through the Erasmus+ pro- gramme. The all special kids - parents project focuses on the need for promotion of psycho- social adjustment and raising the quality of life of families of children with special education- al needs (SEN) by guiding, coun- selling and training services to ensure active participation in the education of their children. The project is led by Karsi- yakaIlce Milli Egitim Mudurlu- gu in Turkey and includes five international partners from Spain, Italy, Malta, Romania and the UK. Malta is represented by Paragon Europe. The ASK Par- ents project has a total budget of €143,461 and will run for 24 months, having started in Sep- tember 2015. The Integration of people with disabilities through learning project is led by the Federacion Mestral Cocemfe Tarragona in Spain and includes six interna- tional project partners from Ita- ly, Greece, Poland, Malta, Latvia and Turkey. Malta is represented by FOPSIM and the project has a budget of €125,762 and will come to a close in August 2016, after running for 24 months since September 2014. The pro- ject will encourage educators to improve their interaction and communication with people with disabilities. The integration through learn- ing course discussions revolved around types of disabilities; stereotypical perceptions about persons with disabilities, lan- guage tips, discrimination, and the differences between inte- gration and inclusion. Concur- rently, the ASKParents Seminar focused on basic rights in special education, self-determination and happy/successful children, the necessity for environmental adaptation, and the need to cre- ate a vision for the future to raise the quality of life of families of children with special education- al needs. Paragon Europe has been the focal point for building synergies with European organisations. This has been instrumental to FOPSIM getting into these types of project collaborations. Para- gon Europe and FOPSIM pride themselves in being involved in projects for Social Inclusion and aim to support the delivery of successful projects in a way that ensures benefits for all minori- ties in society. With one project coming to a close this year and the other just kicking-off, Para- gon Europe will build on the learnings from the project han- dled by FOPSIM and both plan to collaborate on many more such projects in the future. THE Malta Communications Au- thority (MCA) will be joining the international telecommunication union (ITU) in celebrating "World telecommunications and informa- tion society day (WTISD)" on 17 May, to raise awareness on the op- portunities brought about by the internet and communications tech- nologies, particularly to engender economic progress and bridge the digital divide. For this year, the day's theme is "ICT entrepreneurship for a social impact". The day's objective is to encourage sustainable and inclusive economic growth and social devel- opment through ICT entrepreneur- ship and startups. In line with this theme, the ITU announced a call for action to encourage its members to undertake initiatives that support this. On a number of fronts, ongoing activity by the MCA directly con- tributes towards answering this call. Under this call for action, ITU Members are urged to promote the role of small, young, and innova- tive firms in the ICT sector to en- courage the spread of digital social innovation, to prioritise economic policies that promote innovation, to ensure the availability of the neces- sary human capacity, to support the establishment of comprehensive entrepreneurial ecosystems, and to support entrepreneurs in translat- ing ideas to commercialised innova- tions. The MCA recognises the impor- tant role it can play as a facilitator to ICT entrepreneurs, startups and the digital society at large. One av- enue tapped into is the organisa- tion of community events. These events are recognised amongst the local community as being the per- fect opportunity to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, startups and policy makers under one roof, thereby facilitating networking, the spread of knowledge and the growth of the national ecosystem Another MCA programme, 'Bud- ding Rockstars,' aims at encourag- ing Maltese youth to adopt a more entrepreneurial mindset. This is an annual event that provides students with an opportunity to engage with successful business leaders and ex- perience entrepreneurship through hands-on workshops. In Novem- ber last year, an audience of 150 students from 40 schools in Malta and Gozo participated in 'Budding Rockstars'. The MCA is also carrying out a study on Malta's attractiveness to digital businesses, specifically aimed at informing policy making and engendering policies that are more favourable to business inno- vation in communications. In the pursuit of the maximum impact possible, the study draws feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, including tech companies at differ- ent stages of development, support stakeholders, the policy community and academia. MCA joins ITU to celebrate WTISD to engender economic progress

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