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30 Aug, 2007 04:26

Google assists IT education in Russia

Russia's education system is beginning to get more investment – and not only in cash – as Google provides the country's students with educational tools.

A skilled workforce is at the heart of any country's economic development and IT skills are vital to   virtually all businesses.

However, according to the Economic Intelligence Unit, Russia ranks only 48th when it comes to national support for IT development.

This, however, is changing with a renewed focus on investment in education, especially in IT. Years of neglect in the wake of the economic crises of the 1990s mean Russia's education system has not been providing the skills the country needs and this is affecting its prospects for future development.

Education is the key element in providing the skilled manpower needed to make the country more competitive, and in Russia the system is in need of significant investment.

“It's very important to create the infrastructure for education now. Students should first of all have good conditions, premises and  equipment,” said Anatoly Karachinsky, CEO of the IBS Group.

Vladimir Dolgov,  Head of Google Russia, said Google has another approach with the range of technology that it's bringing to the Russian educational sector.

“We're investing our knowledge and technology into the development of education. This is a really huge investment that cannot be measured purely in terms of money,” noted Vladimir Dolgov, the head of Google Russia.

Within the next few months Google is launching an educational programme across Russia that will see them  provide a range of IT tools for students and academics. This will include email boxes, distance learning aids, storage and security systems.

The benefit for the company itself is that it will gain extra users for its products, while students will benefit from access to new technology.

However, investment in education today will not have immediate effect with regard to creating a highly skilled workforce, with analysts saying the results will only begin to show in a decade.