While the other elementary school pupils skim through their comics in the break between classes, Marko Calasan takes out his copy of Implementing and Administering Security in a Microsoft Windows Server Network for a light read.
At the age of 8, Marko has become the world’s youngest certified computer system administrator and was deemed the Mozart of Computers by the press after passing exams for IT professionals with the computer giant Microsoft.
In theory, he could now get a job maintaining complex office computer networks, even though he has not yet completed the third grade in his native town Skopje, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
“The Microsoft officials gave me computer games and DVDs with cartoons when I passed the exams because I am a child. That was nice, but I’m not really interested in those things,” young Marko said. “I’d like to be a computer scientist when I grow up and create a new operational system.”
Marko learnt to read and write at the age of 2 and started working on computers immediately. The news of his extraordinary achievement turned him into a local celebrity and he has even had an audience with the Macedonian Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, who presented him with an IT lab with 15 computers to practise on.
His parents, who are IT experts and run a computer school for children, are considering sending Marko abroad to a specialised institute of learning for gifted children, as none exists in Macedonia.