More free coding classes to benefit Singapore kids, with help from Google, Digital, Singapore News

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Eight-year-old Aiden McEwan fell in love with coding after attending courses to be taught the Scratch coding language final yr.

Realizing of his eager curiosity in science, arithmetic and something to do with numbers, his mom Josephine Ng signed him up for coding courses beneath the Code within the Group (CITC) programme.

The initiative, began by Google in 2017, provides free coding courses to kids from low-income households to show them primary coding expertise and encourage them to find and discover with expertise.

Talking to The Sunday Instances yesterday at a commencement ceremony at Our Tampines Hub for college students who accomplished the programme final yr, Aiden mentioned: “It’s enjoyable after I put the codes collectively on my laptop and I can see that it creates a program. I like experimenting with the completely different codes.”

One of many applications he created is a five-question quiz by which a cat poses inquiries to the participant.

Via the CITC initiative, different individuals have additionally managed to create helpful applications.

For instance, Sean Lim, 15, developed a cellular app that makes use of the Land Transport Authority’s open information on carpark availability to assist drivers monitor it in actual time.

Google is increasing the curriculum and scope of the initiative, with 6,700 extra kids anticipated to profit from an elevated vary of free coding courses over the subsequent three years.

The tech big and the Infocomm Media Growth Authority (IMDA) every contributed $1 million in the direction of the expanded initiative, which has geared up about 2,300 kids from low-income households with primary coding expertise since its launch in 2017.

The dedication was introduced by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on the commencement ceremony.

“The programme has not solely sparked an abiding curiosity in expertise amongst a lot of its individuals, but additionally helped them acquire confidence in downside fixing, taught them to not be afraid of failure, enabled them to find the enjoyment of studying, and helped them acquire concrete expertise to work in the direction of objectives, and finally, fulfil their desires.”

CITC presently provides a foundational programme the place pupils aged eight to 12 be taught Scratch, and college students aged 13 to 16 be taught the Python coding language, which is broadly used within the tech sector.

With the enlargement, foundational programme graduates will have the ability to go on to a brand new functions programme, which can introduce extra advanced ideas and encourage kids to use what they’ve learnt by means of actions, corresponding to programming a robotic.

Enrichment classes on coding for all upper primary pupils next year

Each programmes comprise 16 hours of courses unfold throughout eight weeks.

On the commencement occasion, Google vice-president Caesar Sengupta mentioned: “We’re excited to affix forces with IMDA to proceed supporting a extra inclusive digital society.

“By offering grant funding to Code within the Group, we wish to empower all youngsters in Singapore to find and discover expertise.”

Mr Heng mentioned Singapore’s Sensible Nation imaginative and prescient isn’t just about having 5G Web, synthetic intelligence or driverless vehicles.

“At its coronary heart, changing into a Sensible Nation is in regards to the neighborhood working collectively, in order that nobody – no matter their age or background – is left behind by expertise,” he mentioned.

From this yr, all upper-primary pupils might be required to take a 10-hour coding programme, which isn’t examinable.

This text was first printed in The Straits Instances. Permission required for copy.

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