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Adec, Google launch coding skills programme

ABU DHABI, November 23, 2015

The Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) and Google have launched a large scale strategic programme to enable more than a quarter million public and private school students across Abu Dhabi to learn computer programming skills, combined with training and capacity building for all ICT teachers and afterschool coding clubs in the emirate.
The Google-created programme is called Computer Science (CS) First and targets the youth, often with no background in coding, said a statement.
It was initially offered to 30,000 students in September in grades four, five and nine across public schools, and will be offered to the rest of the public and private school students in other grades within two years, it said.
The intensive course will be embedded in the classroom equipping students with the basics of 'Scratch,' a student-friendly programming language that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed. 
By learning to programme with Scratch, students will learn to think productively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically, said the statement.
These skills contribute to developing learners and knowledge creators across platforms, a key long-term growth engine expanding Abu Dhabi’s internet ecosystem, while building a future talent pool to drive Abu Dhabi’s innovative development, it said.
Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, chairman of the Health Authority Abu Dhabi and member of the Executive Council, who inaugurated the event, said: “Adec’s strategic collaboration with one of the world’s leading technology companies, Google, is part of delivering one of Adec’s major innovation ecosystem initiatives ‘Programming for Life’ which coincides with the Council’s desire to offer quality education to students in all schools in Abu Dhabi. 
"Both public and private school students are being offered the opportunity to learn one of the world’s newest and most important innovation skills – computer programming. This will not only enhance their exploration and creativity skills, but will also provide endless opportunities to question, explore and re-explore.”
Mohamad Mourad, regional director for Google Mena, said: “Coding skills and computer science are at the very core of Google. They are a gateway to innovation in numerous fields from architecture to zoology, from medicine to the music industry. Computer programming has become a realm for creativity and innovative ideas.  We believe that the UAE youth can be a part of this.”
“Google’s CS First programme will empower Abu Dhabi youth to adapt to new thinking and learning methods, while acquiring critical analysis and reasoning skills. These are essential tools to prepare our students for the world of knowledge creation,” said Dr Al Khaili.
In planning for this programme, Adec and Google co-led and delivered a mass capacity-building training programme for all Abu Dhabi ICT public school teachers in August, training and certifying them on the CS First programme. 
The training produced by Google experts is a step-change in enhancing Abu Dhabi’s ICT teacher workforce via modern computer programming skills. 
“Coding is becoming an essential skill, just like reading, writing, and math. The upcoming generation of Abu Dhabi youth have become digital natives. We want to equip them with the skills to become the future knowledge creators of tomorrow’s Internet ecosystem," said Mourad.
“Our students are required to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which will not only lead to more interest towards that field, but will help enhance the fundamental skills of logic, computational thinking, together with problem solving skills, which are all beneficial for our youth,” said Dr Al Khaili.
“Our youth are expected to take part in competitive and challenging tasks in the future, and that requires knowledge and tech-based learning skills. Interactive programs such as this one are key to preparing students to enter the modern workforce and play their part in the development of our beloved nation. Adec will continue to work hand-in-hand with industry leaders to offer its students some of the best opportunities that are out there,” he added. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Google | Computer | programme | Adec |

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