In 2021, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Accelerator Lab partnered with “BalaTech” (www.balatech.org), a multilingual educational platform for children and youngsters to learn programming in an interactive way with their peers. BalaTech makes learning experience fun and engaging through gamification. The application offers 10 learning modules with 175 challenge-based tasks that users can interact with free of charge. Completed tasks earn participants bonus points to unlock the next level of games with diverse virtual settings where they continue their learning adventure.
Recognized by UNDP’s “Digital x Scale Accelerator” as one of the ten most impactful digital solutions in 2021, and with generous support from the Government of Japan, BalaTech was able to enhance its user’s experience with a better UX design and learning algorithms. The platform is designed to be gender sensitive so as to encourage more girls to learn programming and does not necessitate prerequisite programming knowledge or advanced equipment such as a laptop computer. Anyone with a smartphone and basic internet access can learn and play from the beginner level.
Thanks to this support, BalaTech will organize its popular annual International Programming Olympiad in the wider Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. Held on 19 February 2022 in an online format, the Olympiad will invite around 50,000 school students from grades 5 to 11 in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and other Russian-speaking countries, to participate to the Olympiad free of charge. Free learning content to get ready for the Olympiad includes 10 learning modules with 175 general tasks and 137 additional difficulty tasks.
Age groups will be categorized as follows:
- Junior group from grade 5 to 7 grades,
- Middle group from grade 8 to 9,
- Senior group from grade 10 to 11.
The winners will be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes in each age groups for an overall prize fund worth $ 10,000 USD in the form of:
- Discounts for studying in the United Kingdom;
- Discounts for studying in German Universities;
- Discounts for studying in American universities;
- Free tests for scholarship programmes in Italy;
- Discounts for studying in Malaysian universities.
As the official partner and co-organizer of the Olympiad, UNDP is committed to providing accessible and inclusive digital education for current future generations of students in the region.
* For any inquiries on partnership opportunities on BalaTech, please contact: +996 550984747, firstname.lastname@example.org. For UNDP partnership on digital innovation, please contact the Head of Experimentation at Accelerator Lab UNDP Kyrgyzstan, Jenny Jenish kyzy (Ensi Tszie) at email@example.com