LatinaLista —One rising indicator of a country's influence and wealth is how tech-savvy is its workforce. While there's a rush to teach everyone, from toddlers to seniors, how to code, there's no substituting for people who are trained as engineers, mathematicians, or computer scientists, and who are the brains behind creating the coding that operates today's technology.
Universities understand this and are on the forefront of making education accessible to the masses by providing mathematical and computer courses — online.
Chile's Catholic University's School of Engineering recently opened its own virtual doors.
On the homepage of its Engineering website, the university is offering four classes free to any student in the country who wants to reinforce their skills and problem-solving in math.
The initiative is part of the project "Engineering 2030" supported by CORFO (Corfo), which focuses on new technologies and teaching methods in the digital environment, among others.
"As of today, any student interested in preparing for college, regardless of their economic status and geographic location, may take the free online courses offered on the portal. From a smartphone, tablet or computer with Internet, anyone can access these courses for training in basic skills needed by future engineers," said Perez-Sanagustín Mar, UC professor of engineering and project manager
The professor said that classes include math content taught during the last year of secondary education, through video lessons and interactive exercises that are self-paced.
But mathematics isn't the only subject to be offered for free.
The university is also working on providing in the coming months free online casses in chemistry and a course on how to prepare for the national mandatory university entrance exam or PSU.
In addition to advancing towards a standard of educational quality, it's hoped the portal will help with the technological development of smartphones and increased Internet connections, so that basic classes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics can be offered for everyone.