The following information is a UPC Ireland Press release from before the move to Virgin Media
Coding skills considered Equally Important as Mainstream Subjects – UPC Research
For children growing up, computer coding is now widely considered by the public to be just as important as maths, science and languages - including Irish - research commissioned by UPC Ireland has identified, marking the current EU Code Week 11th – 17th October.
In the research, carried out for UPC among 1,000 people (aged over 16 years) by Amarach Research, 2 in 3 people said that learning computer code is equally as important as learning mainstream subjects including Business, Geography, Music, History, Art, Irish, Science, Languages, Maths and English. Over 1 in 3 thinks coding is ‘more important’ than Irish and 1 in 5 said it’s ‘more important’ than maths.
Even though there is a strongly positive sentiment towards learning coding, just under 1 in 5 people said they are aware of the CoderDojo initiative where increasing numbers of children nationwide are taking part in coding clubs or ‘dojos’. However, 3 in 4 people said that they would send their child to learn computer coding, assuming groups and facilities were available in their area.
Among those who are aware of the CoderDojo initiative, higher levels of awareness were found in Leinster (including Dublin), followed by Munster and Connacht / Ulster, with a somewhat higher number of men also indicating they are aware of the initiative than women (20% v. 14%). 24 - 44 year olds also demonstrated a higher awareness.
UPC, in partnership with CoderDojo, last week announced that they will create ten new CoderDojos across Ireland over the next twelve months. Staff volunteers have been supporting a new CoderDojo near the company’s head office in Sandymount in Dublin which has proven highly popular with over 50 local children now regularly attending, some as young as 6 years of age. A number of the older children are now also mentoring their friends in ‘Scratch’ (a learning resource for coding).
Anna-Maria Barry, a UPC staff volunteer at the CoderDojo and who is also Corporate Communications General Manager for UPC Ireland said, “The research findings are positive but they indicate there is some way to go to promote the availability and participation in coding and digital skills among parents and young people nationwide. Our goal is to enable CoderDojo to reach more and more young people, giving them the opportunity to learn coding skills that will help them become the next generation of creators and innovators. It’s also important for children to have fun while they learn and this is exactly what CoderDojo is achieving. Many children come to our local CoderDojo in the afternoon after they’ve already enjoyed sports, so it’s a winning combination where they can also exercise their minds with a digital skill set that will undoubtedly contribute to their lives for the
This announcement is also part of UPC’s involvement with the Davos Declaration on the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, an initiative launched by the European Commission to respond to the shortage of workers in the digital sector for almost 900,000 ICT positions, including 7,000 Irish opportunities.
To find out what events are happening for EU Code Week in your area, please visit www.codeweek.eu
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About EU Code Week
EU Code Week takes place from 11th – 17th October and is an initiative of the young advisors to European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes. EU Code Week is about getting children, parents, teachers, entrepreneurs and policy makers to come together in events and classrooms to learn programming and related skills. The first EU Code Week took place in November 2013 and featured over 300 coding events involving more than 10,000 people in 26 European countries.
The initiative has attracted the support of coding and education movements like CoderDojo and Rails Girls and industry peers like Facebook, Google, Liberty Global (parent company of UPC), Microsoft, Rovio, and Telefónica.
CoderDojo is a global network of volunteer-led, independent, community based programming clubs for young people. These young people, between 7 and 17, learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and explore technology. In addition to learning to code attendees meet like-minded people and get to show off what they’ve been working on.
The global CoderDojo community is supported by the CoderDojo Foundation. The CoderDojo Foundation consists of a core team of dedicated individuals, founded by CoderDojo co-founder James Whelton, who are committed to focusing on supporting both new and existing Dojos through resource and community development while also scaling CoderDojo through partnerships and creating awareness globally.