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Agreement Between the Ministry of Public Education and Intel Costa Rica Will Enable the Specialization in Artificial Intelligence at Professional Technical Colleges, Beginning Next Year

Agreement Between the Ministry of Public Education and Intel Costa Rica Will Enable the Specialization in Artificial Intelligence at Professional Technical Colleges, Beginning Next Year

  • Four schools will offer a specialization in Artificial Intelligence beginning in 2023 and by 2024, 10 more schools will be added.
  • Intel developed the "Artificial Intelligence for Youth" (Intel® AI For Youth, AI4Y) program, whose model, content, and teacher training were provided to the Ministry of Public Education at no cost.
November 24, 2022. Beginning next year, Professional Technical College (CTP, for its acronym in Spanish) students in Santa Ana, Puriscal, Coronado, and Calle Blancos will be able to specialize in Artificial Intelligence (AI), according to a Ministry of Public Education and Intel Costa Rica announcement this morning at the Santa Ana CTP. The goal is that, by 2024, another 10 schools will also offer the specialization.

The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to develop joint actions that favor the acquisition of skills in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), for Costa Rica’s Professional Technical Education students. The student community will also learn about the ethical and legal implications of this technology, to foster not only knowledge, but to promote responsible digital citizenship.

“This new technical specialization is a response to a demand for new professional profiles that the country requires and to the new trends that characterize today’s market. For Costa Rica and especially for our youth, Artificial Intelligence represents an opportunity to increase competitiveness and promote innovation and employability,” stated Anna Katharina Müller Castro, the Minister of Education. 
The agreement, approved by the Higher Education Council, allowed the training of the first group of lead teachers, based on the idea that they can later share their knowledge by training other teachers in the early months of 2023.
“The world is transforming at a rate never seen before and Artificial Intelligence is undoubtedly one of the mega trends that, as Intel, we’re betting on. Using relevant data that provides new perspectives for better decision making in less time, unleashing creativity, automating more processes, and creating a cycle of new learning, are just a few examples of where we see the applied benefits of this technology. The agreement with the Ministry of Public Education will prepare young people for this high-demand technical area to increase their employment opportunities,” explained Ileana Rojas, Vice-President and General Manager of Intel Costa Rica.

Benefits for youth
The signed agreement will allow to develop a three-year program, for which Intel provided the Ministry of Public Education, at no cost, with the model and content developed by Intel® AI For Youth program.

This also makes possible to provide inputs to design educational programs, develop didactic material, and underpin teacher training processes in the subject of AI and Machine Learning. Students who start the program during the 2023 school year will also have a scholarship to learn English.

"Artificial intelligence is one of the exponential technologies that CINDE has its eye on, knowing that the specialization represents new job opportunities that are in high demand at companies. We are proud to see how, through public-private partnerships and a good reading of the environment, this technical career will be available. Soon, we’ll have more professionals who will be able to dramatically improve quality, efficiency, and productivity at companies, as well as in society itself. According to a KPMG study, in Costa Rica alone, about 75% of companies have begun to implement artificial technology in their processes; together with machine learning, it is one of the five mega trends in the sectors that attract the greatest foreign direct investment," said Vanessa Gibson, Director of Investment Climate at CINDE.

In addition, Gibson added, "On the horizon, there is also the challenge of harnessing the full potential of this technology and achieving equitable and inclusive participation to benefit the majority."

Technologies like AI are reshaping the world and have a huge impact on the economy and jobs. A report, The Future of Work from the of the World Economic Forum, states that, by 2025, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Mega Data are projected to be the careers most in demand. Business analysts, developers, data engineers, and sales specialists, among others, are just some of the jobs related to AI and where there are job opportunities in the market and industry.

“Intel's goal is to create technology that improves the lives of everyone on the planet. It seeks to establish inclusive technology and expand digital capability, both of which are key components in Intel's “RISE 2030” social responsibility and sustainability goals. Supporting the country on its path toward a knowledge-based industry is a commitment that we assumed 25 years ago, when the company established itself in Costa Rica, and this agreement is a concrete example of this," said Timothy Scott Hall, Director of Government Affairs at Intel Costa Rica.

Artificial Intelligence for Youth
In 2019, Intel rolled out a global AI capability-focused program – AI for Youth – in partnership with governments, to empower youth aged 13-19 with the needed skills, mindsets, tools, and opportunities to use technology responsibly in an AI-driven landscape.

The program is currently available in more than 26 countries around the world. In Poland, Germany, South Korea, Singapore, Moldova, India, China, and South Africa, they have adopted AI for Youth at the national level.

Costa Rica is the first country to develop the program in Latin America and the only one to formalize it as a specialty at the secondary education level.