Robots from Taiwan will help teach Prague schoolchildren about technology

The donations of robots and systems analyzers are part of the sister city agreement between Prague and Taipei; more projects are being planned.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 28.01.2021 13:00 (updated on 28.01.2021)

Donated robots will help in teaching at the lower grades of the grammar school in Čakovice, and spectrum analyzers will again be used at the Secondary Industrial School of Electrical Engineering in Ječná.

This is a pilot phase of cooperation between Prague and Taiwan. Joint projects in digitization of education, innovation in education, and climate change awareness are also being prepared.

“At the beginning of 2020, we raised the partnership that Prague has had with Taipei since 2001 to the level of sister cities, and thus deepened cooperation with Taiwan. I appreciate that our cooperation is based on mutual respect and reciprocity and is constantly bearing fruit,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said.

“These school supplies are another concrete and practical result of this inspiring collaboration. Robots for Prague schools are only the first example in this area, followed by other projects that we are currently discussing,” he added.

Prague City Councilor Vít Šimral, responsible for education, said he city was already formulating specific areas of setting up Prague-Taiwan cooperation in the field of education with the Prague Innovation Institute.

“In addition to helping with the material equipment of schools, we mainly plan joint projects and activities of secondary school students or, for example, the joint organization of scientific competitions. It will be such a mutual exchange of know-how,” Šimral said.

According to Gymnázium Čakovice director Iva Nosková, the robotic arms are a great interactive tool that will help students prepare for the dynamic development of society. The school will use these robots in teaching computer science. Students will get acquainted with a wide range of practical tasks, such as building a model house, robotic chemistry, or a model production line.

“The donated robotic arms are a great help for us to expand teaching computer science at our grammar school. Thanks to this gift from Taiwan, our students will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the practical teaching of robotics on a much larger scale and at a higher level than before,” Nosková said.

“Robotics will gradually become part of general education. Although we are not a vocational school directly preparing students for the challenges of Industry 4.0, it is necessary to acquaint them, among other things, with the possibilities of industrial automation,” she added. Industry 4.0 refers to the smart technology being used in the automation of manufacturing and industrial practices.

The new teaching aids at the Secondary Industrial School of Electrical Engineering in Ječná were welcomed by school director Ondřej Mandík.

“We will use spectrum analyzers for teaching electrical measurement, electronics, and automation, where we work with analog, digital, and modulated signals, and deal with their time and frequency analysis,” he said.

“This gift will be used every year by over 250 students of our school. We are convinced that the experience with the use of these spectrum analyzers will then be transferred to the Czech industry as graduates,” Mandík added.

Ke Liang-Ruey, director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, praised Prague City Hall. “Prague is known for its rich history and quality architecture, but the current management of Prague is heading into the future. It uses technology and innovation to raise the standard of living of its citizens,” he said.

“As part of our partnership, we share best practices to help us grow with each other. I am glad that we have agreed on a joint approach in the field of science and education,” he added.

Prague signed a sister city agreement with Taipei, the capitol of Taiwan, in January 2020. In October 2019, Prague terminated its sister city agreement with Beijing due to a dispute over a statement requiring Prague to recognize the One China policy, which includes Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China. Prague representatives said such a political statement had no place in the agreement.

The agreement with Beijing was arranged under then-mayor Adriana Krnáčová in 2016. The city at that time was hoping to acquire a panda for Prague Zoo as well as increase Chinese tourism and business ties.

In April 2020 the Czech Republic received 25 ventilators from Taiwan to help patients with COVID-19. The ventilators and other medical equipment were donated based on the sister city agreement with Taipei.