Holberton School, the college alternative educating the next generation of software engineers, alongside Fundación Zonamerica, hosted a ceremony to celebrate the inauguration of its Montevideo, Uruguay campus in Jacksonville.
This initiative aims to reduce the digital talent gap existing in the country to satisfy the needs of the local technological industry by training students to become software engineers. The first cohort began in September this year with a group of 29 students.
The first lady of Uruguay, Lorena Ponce de León; Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Pablo Mieres; Fundación Zonamerica President and Vice-President, Alberto Fossati and Orlando Dovat; Executive director of Holberton School in Montevideo, Inés Jakubovski; Elected Mayor of Montevideo, Carolina Cosse; the Subsecretary of Education Ana Ribeiro and the President of the Uruguayan Chamber of information technology (CUTI), Leonardo Loureiro as well as other governmental authorities, foundation leadership, business chambers, companies that support the program as Hiring Partners, and students attended the event. The opening ceremony followed all sanitary precautions and included a tour of Holberton School’s Montevideo campus.
Holberton President and Co-founder Sylvain Kalache attended the event through a video call from Silicon Valley, sharing his excitement to be part of the Uruguay tech ecosystem. Additionally, authorities from Inefop, the US embassy in Uruguay, Instituto Uruguay XXI, Municipality Mayor, CAF representatives, and role models from educational institutions and enterprises in the IT sector were also present.
“Concern to fill the prevailing digital gap and the lack of programmer training in Uruguay inspired the project. When we were considering establishing a Holberton School here, and after the successful experience in Cali, we got in touch with CUTI members and concluded that doing the same here was a huge opportunity,” said Orlando Dovat, Vice-President of Fundación Zonamerica. “We know it is just a grain of sand that we can provide to the area; nonetheless, this contribution is all about quality, not quantity. Beyond that, it is also about learning from this education methodology that we could incorporate in Uruguay while looking forward to the future through a high level of training.”
Uruguay Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Pablo Mieres, emphasized the role played by Zonamerica and the foundation about training Uruguayans.
“The initiative of creating a Holberton School in Uruguay is a reaffirmation of a fundamental value of the country, which is having people always create innovative ideas. The experience of this establishment in Uruguay is a symbol that shows the way forward in the right direction to follow between training and employment for a wealthy, state-of-the-art country that looks toward the future.”
President of the Uruguayan Chamber of information technology (CUTI), Leonardo Loureiro, highlighted the importance of this type of intensive, campus-based training.
“We are currently working on redesigning the UTU curriculum, the technical part of the high school program, and computer literacy programs at all levels of education. It is essential to have a school that focuses solely on this topic. As a chamber and business sector, we are happy that this kind of initiative is being carried out.”
Montevideo´s elected Mayor, Carolina Cosse underscored the demand for jobs in a flourishing industry and the material conditions for it to happen in Uruguay.
“We don’t have a digital gap in terms of infrastructure because we have optical fiber, an undersea cable, a Data Center, El Ceibal, which are the physical foundations to keep building on them. For this reason, I welcome and congratulate this project, and also because I think this type of initiative, both from the public and private sectors, must continue flourishing.”
“I hope creativity and imagination will always be with you, like those characteristics we inherit from the old French educational system of Progressive Education, which is the ability to be better generalists than specialists. These young people will have to solve not only general problems, but they must also learn to solve problems they have not imagined yet. I wish them a prosperous life full of learning,” said Ana Ribeiro, Uruguay Subsecretary of the Ministry of Education.
Source: Holberton School