Microsoft is encouraging more European students to get engaged in computer science and boost their coding skills this week. Students and teachers will be joining in a series of events taking place across 14 European countries as part of Europe Code Week 2016.
In Dublin, Microsoft hosted a special CoderDojo session at its offices in Sandyford. Students heard from Stephen Howell, Microsoft Coding Guru, and Mags Amond, EU Code Week Ambassador to Ireland. They also got the opportunity to hear from two CoderDojo Ninjas, who shared their experiences from their recent trip to Brussels to take part in a Microsoft EU Code Week event.
Digital skills are essential for anyone to thrive in our digital economy and for Europe to realize its Digital Single Market vision. In Europe, 90 percent of jobs will require some level of digital skills by 2020. Including computer science education into the curriculum in every European country is one clear path towards closing the digital skills gap. Helping more young people to learn the basics of coding and get inspired by the possibilities of computer science at a young age will help to instil the computational-thinking and problem-solving skills that are critical for today’s digital environment.
Progress is underway. 19 European countries have integrated computer programming and coding in their curriculum or plan to do so in the near future. However, there is still a significant need for computer science to remain on top of the education policy agenda to make digital literacy and skills fundamental components of education at all levels. Education reform must happen faster to ensure the current generation doesn’t get left behind.
“Computer science is now a building block for all modern jobs and should be an essential part of foundational learning in the classroom,” said Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland. “Although we are making great strides when it comes to sparking interest in subjects like coding, we mustn’t lose sight of the other tangible ways we can help young people to think in a more digital way. Europe Code Week reminds us that, by opening up more opportunities and teaching coding and computer science both inside and outside of the classroom, we can continue to nurture greater interest and engagement across the region.”
For more information about Europe Code Week, please visit www.codeweek.eu.