Last Thursday, the 21st of May, saw the official launch of CodePact, an initiative between public and private partners to get more people digitally skilled. Because, according to special envoy for startups Neelie Kroes, all jobs ask for some form of digital knowledge.
During the Like to Share Festival of Education in the Amsterdam EYE film museum, StartupDelta and Neelie Kroes, officially launched the CodePact initiative. Here, Kroes talked about a new generation that will be raised in a completely digital world: “[a world] where future jobs need talented people who are highly digitally shaped. Not only the jobs for Booking.com, Adyen and Peerby, but also a heating contractor or a mechanic; digitally shaped talent is needed for every job!”
Both StartupDelta and Neelie Kroes have been stressing the importance of teaching children how to code for a while now. In January, Kroes made an appearance at the StartupBootcamp demo day to talk about coding and in March StartupDelta organized two coding events that in hindsight can be seen as a testing ground for CodePact.
Goal: reach 400.000 children in the next three years
The initiators of CodePact believe that every child deserves a promising future, that’s why digital skills need to be included in the Dutch curriculum. The goal is to reach 400.000 children in the next three years. The programme aims to reach that goal by focussing on the following aspects:
- Coding and programming need to be brought to the classrooms. It is therefore part of CodePact that at all Dutch primary schools, about 7000 in total, children will be taught coding.
- To get children really digitally skilled, also informatics and media literacy are needed competencies, therefore CodePact strives for informatics as an exam at secondary schools.
- Digitally shaped teachers are the key in reaching these goals: therefore CodePact will offer free education for teachers, so they will be well equipped to teach programming.
- Another key to success are the parents. CodePact will also involve them and by doing so make them aware of the need for digitally shaped children.
- And finally, schools need the right infrastructure. Not every school has computers or tablets or even Internet. CodePact strives for great digital infrastructure at every school.
Coding continues after school
CodePact also sees possibilities for teaching coding and programming beyond education hours. They will set up so-called ‘Coding Clubs’, where children learn how to code after school. Also CodePact will organize some events that not only focus on learning coding and programming, but also show the fun of it.
Public and private partners
To make CodePact a really complete and impactful programme, it is set up as an initiative between public and private partners: corporates, foundations and the government all work together. Corporates like Google, IBM, Microsoft, Malmberg, NederlandICT, Oracle and Randstad are involved, as they are the ones that know how much programming is needed for today’s and future talent. They will initiate projects that fit within the goals of CodePact, e.g. facilitate computers for primary schools. Additionally, CodePact has the support from partners who already work on digitally shaping children, like software companies Bomberbot and Q42, the Code for Surinam initiative, the CodeUur foundation, and the municipality of Amsterdam.
Photo’s provided by StartupDelta