Exciting plans are in train for the Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA) 2019, with the announcement that Microsoft Ireland will sponsor the award for overall school of the year and host the inaugural summit.
Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) initiated TESA with the support of the associations representing principals at both second level (NAPD) and primary (IPPN) in order to celebrate the hard work and achievements of schools, which provide opportunities for students to acquire and practice entrepreneurial skills.
Speaking at the announcement, Helen Raftery, JAI 's chief executive, said: We are thrilled that Microsoft is on board as Summit Partner, as it allows us to plan a worthy celebration of the incredible work being done in schools to prepare students for future successes.
"Staging the TESA summit at the impressive and futuristic One Microsoft Place on October 10 will be another example of Microsoft 's commitment to education in Ireland.
At the Summit, each TESA-certified school will receive its public citation, with a starting prize fund of €10,000 for those schools deemed to be best in class, while the event itself will allow educators to exchange best practice, encourage innovation and contribute to the continuous professional development of those educators working to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed.
An overall winner, TESA School of the Year – Microsoft Award ' will be announced at the Summit and will enable leaders from the winning school to participate in the European Entrepreneurial School Awards in Helsinki later this year.
The winners of the Microsoft Award will be invited to address the TESA Summit 2020, to ensure we continue to share best practice and build a network of entrepreneurial educators, added Raftery.
Research by Microsoft has shown that, by 2030, the fastest-growing occupations for the next generation will require entrepreneurial skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and creativity.
James O 'Connor, managing director of Microsoft International Operations, said JAI's celebration of entrepreneurship education in Irish schools was one it was delighted to support at its Dublin campus.
The inaugural TESA Summit provides an important opportunity to recognise the innovative approaches taken by many schools, as they look to empower their students to succeed in our digital world, he said.
Our ambition at Microsoft Ireland is to empower tomorrow 's leaders to achieve more through the power of technology. Through our digital skills programme, DreamSpace, we have committed to providing 100,000 young people with bespoke digital experiences at our innovation and education hub at our new campus, while our recent partnership with DCU has empowered 400 student teachers to deliver coding sessions in Irish schools. All of these efforts will help ensure that our students leave school ready for the jobs of tomorrow.
Microsoft 's involvement adds another exciting dimension to the TESA initiative, said Raftery. We would encourage other organisations to get in touch if they would like to be involved in recognising and celebrating the critical work of schools in entrepreneurship education.