Source: AGORAMAGAZINE.IT – Domenico Esposito
BRUXELLES (Belgio) – “EU Code Week”, launched in 2013, aims at promoting computer use. Next “Week” will be from 11 to 17 October. This initiative has been organized by European Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, who wrote a letter to European Education Secretaries encouraging them to offer children the opportunity to develop coding competencies. This letter has been approved and countersigned by European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou.
The letter was written on 25 July and underlined that one of the main challenges in Europe is unemployment. At the same time in ICT sector is expected a gap of 900.000 professionals within 2020.
Furthermore, the letter says that the number of jobs that need digital competencies is increasing, while the number of people with a informatics degree is stuck. It is a missed opportunity and at the same time a challenge to the future competitiveness of Europe. To face the challenges of a digital era it is necessary that children become skilled. A little less than a year ago, as Commissioner for Education and Digital Agenda, they launched “Education Initiative” that aim at promoting advanced digital competencies for everybody. This need has been underlined also by the communication entitled “Rethinking Education”.
The letter continues underlining that one of the most important digital competencies that every child should have is coding. Indeed, the principle is that digital skills will help students to develop cross-cultural competencies, such as analytic thinking, problem solving, team working and creativity.
Coding teaching is increasing in Europe. Coding Coding has been taught in Estonia since 2012. UK will introduce coding as a subject in national school curriculum of this year. France announced the launch of a optional coding course at primary school. Finland and Italy are planning coding courses for young people.
Finally, there are a lot of voluntary initiatives in Europe, such as CoderDojo and Rails Girls. These initiative offer nice code lessons for children during the week end, summer holidays or after school.
The letter written to European Education Secretaries concluded saying that coding must not be seen as a support to maths, sciences, technologies and engineering studies. Coding is a tool that could help students to develop cross-cultural competencies in analytics thinking, problem solving, team working and creativity. As soon these project will be launched as soon students will be oriented to ICT carriers.