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Saudi Vision 2030
With the announcement of Saudi Vision 2030 in 2016, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been looking at transformational social and economic reforms with emphasis on a sustainable and diversified economy. The Kingdom is undergoing a phase of wide-ranging transformations at the fastest pace in over a decade to enhance productivity, increase the contribution of the private sector, and empower the third sector.
In line with this endeavour, the advancement of the education system, especially STEM education, is being prioritized in the Kingdom. In fact, the second largest governmental spending in Saudi Arabia, where 25% of the population is 14 years and younger, goes towards education. Under its National Transformation Program, Saudi Arabia is now seeking to prepare a workforce ready to solve real-world problems through hands-on learning activities and creative design.
TCS’ digital innovation program
Tata Consultancy Services, with its flagship digital innovation and career readiness program – goIT – is aiming to support the Kingdom in its vision. The goIT program, which prepares students with the skills, confidence, and a mindset necessary to pursue careers of the future, has already benefitted more than 100,000 students across the globe so far and was launched for the first time in Saudi Arabia in June 2022 yielding impressive results. TCS collaborated with Al Sahafa International School, Riyadh, where more than 100 students got together to solve some of the leading global challenges such as good Health and wellbeing for all, affordable and clean energy, and achieving zero hunger, among others.
students have benefitted from the program
students collaborated to solve leading global challenges
of the Saudi Arabian population is 14 years and younger
Mentoring young innovators
The finale of the eight-week program was concluded in April 2022, where students from Grade 7 researched, ideated, and prototyped a mobile solution called ‘Team Earth’ that tells you the nearest available renewable energy outlets and even finds you an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) volunteer. Meanwhile, Grade 5 students pitched a storyboard on using technology to solve hunger in the world with the help of an app called ‘Free Supermarket’, where donations can be made and received with the mobile and the app acting as a digital aggregator.
We are very excited to see the STEM exposure our students got through the TCS goIT program. The children really impressed us with their enthusiasm and willingness to learn. I think programs like this are extremely important in showing students how they can succeed in a range of fields, with a good grounding in IT.
While the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic caused some hiccups in the forms of remote learning, uneven technology access, and adapting to new learning environment, TCS and the school successfully conducted the volunteer training remotely. The student training, however, was strategically timed to be done face-to-face as schools reopened in January 2022.
Leah, a Grade 7 student at the Al Sahafa International School, who is excited to be a future leader, says, “I am very happy to have had the opportunity to participate in goIT, which introduced me to problem-solving using the design thinking principle. The mobile app training was enlightening, and my project on improving world health by using technology was quite close to my heart.”
Promoting exclusive education
Moreover, TCS’ commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in TCS Saudi Arabia’s translation of the goIT program into the Arabic language to suit local schools across the Middle East and Africa region.
We strongly believe that our differences make us stronger. Translating the program into the local language will help us reach more schools across the Kingdom, churning out more young innovators and design thinkers than ever before.