S’pore Kids Can Learn Coding for Free; Language Includes Python & Scratch
Growing up, it’s pretty common for parents to send their child to tuition and enrichment classes to give them a head start.
Some might even send them to music classes and teach their offsprings to be cultured individuals who know how to play the piano or the violin.
Back then though, coding wasn’t one of the enrichment classes commonly taught to students.
Times have changed, and just as Friendster has ceased and Facebook has overtaken the internet sphere, coding has slowly but surely gained momentum.
Google is expanding the curriculum and scope of its Code in the Community (CITC) initiative.
This means that 6,700 more students will get to enjoy an increased variety of free coding classes over the next three years.
Google and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) each contributed S$1million towards the initiative that has since been expanded.
To date, the initiative has provided around 2,300 students from low-income families with basic coding skills since it was released back in 2017.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Sweet Keat were at a graduation ceremony for students who successfully completed the programme in 2019 at Our Tampines Hub.
There, he said, “The programme has not only sparked an abiding interest in technology among many of its participants, but also helped them gain confidence in problem-solving, taught them not to be afraid of failure, enabled them to discover the joy of learning, and helped them gain concrete skills to work towards goals, and eventually, fulfil their dreams.”
Right now, CITC offers a Foundational programme where students between the ages of eight and 12 years old can learn the Scratch coding language.
Whereas those who are 13-16 years old learn the Python coding language that’s commonly used in the technology sector.
The expansion allows graduates of the Foundational programme to move on to a new Applications programme that introduces more complex concepts and will push students to apply what they have previously learnt through activities such as programming a robot.
It all ties up with the Singapore Government’s Smart Nation Vision.
But contrary to popular belief, Mr Heng clarifies that the vision is more than just having 5G internet, artificial intelligence or driverless cars.
“At its heart, becoming a Smart Nation is about the community working together, so that no one, regardless of their age or background, is left behind by technology.”
Similar to how our parents are not familiar with certain technological mambo jumbo, we will probably not be familiar with our future kids/generations’ mambo jumbo, aka coding.
Beginning this year, all upper-primary students will have to take a 10-hour coding programme that’s not examinable.
Those interested in the expanded CITC which will run from 1 February to 22 March can register and find out more here.
Do note that applications close on 14 January.
Singapore Education Technology Lifestyle
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