Making a difference with Oracle Academy
The spotlight is on Beatrice Bucur, Information Technology Instructor, Lycée Privé Emile Metz, Luxembourg.
Lycée Privé Emile Metz is a private high school in Luxembourg city. It has 550 students and emphasizes technical learning for electro-mechanical and woodworking professions. It is certified in MINT — Math, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Technology — and the interrelationships of these subject matters.
Luxembourg is one of three European capitals that host European Union institutions, and Lycée Privé Emile Metz also specializes in developing EU-related careers. In addition, the Lycée has opened its doors to refugees from war zones such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
Beatrice Bucur teaches math, server management, and database. She joined the school in 2019 after teaching computer science in her home country Romania, where she also used Oracle Academy resources.
Bucur holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and is a certified International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) instructor.
Oracle Academy: We understand you taught Oracle Academy curriculum in your courses in Romania before moving to Luxembourg. How did that go?
Beatrice Bucur: That’s right. When I started teaching, we were using other databases and spreadsheet packages. In 2009, Oracle in Bucharest sent out a nationwide invitation to teachers wishing to incorporate Oracle Academy resources in their classes.
I signed up and attended courses learning how to teach Database Design and Programming with SQL. I passed the exam to become a trainer and went on to teach that course in a vocational college in Slatina for the next 10 years. During that time, I also trained 60 teachers on how to teach with Oracle Academy curriculum and resources.
On arriving at Lycée Privé Emile Metz, I proposed the same partnership with Oracle Academy. An Institutional member agreement was signed in March 2021.
I continue to teach Database Design and Programming with SQL, with plans next year to introduce Java and cloud courses.
Oracle Academy: What is the makeup of your classes?
Beatrice Bucur: My class is composed mainly of refugees from war-torn countries. They are from ages 16 to 24 and need skills to enter the job market in Luxembourg. I use English to teach math, servers and database, the latter using Oracle Academy resources. My class is fairly small, 15 people, which is the standard size for Emile Metz classrooms.
I concentrate on the database design part of the Database Design and Programming with SQL course.
Oracle Academy: What do they work towards?
Beatrice Bucur: The four-year diploma is called Computer Technician. The database course is geared towards their final graduation project. I use the Oracle Academy platform to teach them the basics and then move on to Oracle APEX for SQL commands.
For the final year they must prepare a project using all that they have learned in the four years: design, programming with SQL, PHP and Java, servers and networks.
Oracle Academy: What kind of projects do you assign them?
Beatrice Bucur: In the first semesters, I give each student a separate challenge. These can be to set up a travel agency, a bank, a hotel, an airport, a hospital and so on. They must analyze the business, write the scenario, find the entities and attributes, and identify relationships. Then comes database normalization, mapping the relationships and drawing the matrix diagram.
The next step is to create the Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) for their agency, hotel etc., and for this I teach them how to use Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler as a database design tool.
The last step is to use Oracle APEX to practice the commands. Having drawn the ERDs, my students then implement the database in MySQL using APEX. Voila! All of this is a product of the database design section of Database Design and Programming with SQL.
For their final exams, this year, for example they must be able to create a room reservation system. The students must be able to display, for example, all the reservations of a single user, all the reservations for one room, all the rooms that are reserved for a certain period of time — and the system will even unlock the door with a badge.
Oracle Academy: Any other forward-looking plans?
Beatrice Bucur: Using the Oracle Academy Cloud Program is definitely on my radar screen, but I need to find out more about what it offers. In the immediate future, I will be adding parts of the Oracle Academy Java curriculum. By then, some classes will have moved into the new building under completion in the town Differdange, where all teaching will be in English.
Oracle Academy: Super. And what are the job prospects for your students?
Beatrice Bucur: The good news is that most government institutions and quite a lot of the private sectors in Luxembourg use Oracle database. Our diploma gives them an edge in getting employed. I am rather proud that a recent graduate got a job with the Luxembourg Space Agency, which represents the European Space Agency. In fact, his supervisor asked if Emile Metz could supply more technicians. That was like a gift, to a teacher!
Regarding Romania, I stay in touch with a number of my ex-students. Most have found employment in technology companies where they apply the knowledge acquired in the database courses. These include Oracle in Bucharest, while others work in industry or government ministries. Oracle is a powerful tool.
Oracle Academy: Thank you. And what are your hobbies outside of the classroom?
Beatrice Bucur: You know, teaching has been my life for the past 28 years. I try to stay up to speed on learning and teaching techniques. My particular interest is how teaching helps to build a better life for individuals and their families. That’s really what drives me, promoting the use of technology to make positive change.
Thank you, Beatrice Bucur, for your passion for Oracle Academy and for preparing your students to make a positive impact.