The Emirati Coder programme, a national coding teaching project to develop programming skills in Emirati students, has now entered its second phase.
Emirati Coder is a programme by Sandooq Al Watan, a national initiative launched by prominent Emirati businessmen to support research projects that are in line with the UAE’s vision to diversify beyond oil.
"Current technological developments will radically change the job market. With 60% of future jobs expected to require programming skills, the Emirati Coder programme seeks to future-proof a generation of young people by providing them with the skills that will both enable them to meet the requirements of the labour market and help them to contribute to the development of the UAE,” said Mohamed Taj Al-Deen Al Qadhi, director general of Sandooq Al Watan.
The programme was developed in conjunction with Abu Dhabi-based education consultancy Ajyal Talent Management, a DarkMatter company. Emirati Coder aims to create a pool of talent that will be capable to meet the challenges of the future labour market.
The initial phase was launched at the end of January this year with the aim of refining students’ creative thinking skills, enhancing their ability to solve problems and developing their experience in building electronic applications.
The targeted 600 students across five regions in the UAE will spend two weeks in workshops comprising four key elements: how to programme electronic games, how to programme robotics, coding for electronic applications and lastly choosing the best ideas and innovations through testing.
“The first phase of the programme witnessed wide participation from students in UAE schools. In the second phase, we have increased both the number of students and the areas in which the programme will be held with the objective of opening access to as many students as possible,” Al Qadhi added.
Emirati Coder is open to all students between the ages of 7 and 14 incorporating theoretical components that include classroom lectures, Internet sessions and practical applications to equip Emirati students for the requirements of the future labour market by teaching them the basics of programming.
“Emirati Coder represents an important investment in the development and preparation of the next generation of Emirati technology leaders and forms part of our commitment to fostering the technology skills of our children. The education provided through this project will be invaluable in providing Emirati youth with the knowledge and capabilities to protect the UAE's digital infrastructure,” said Saeed Basweidan, CEO of Ajyal Talent Management.
“Through our experience at DarkMatter, we will be able to prepare a group of young innovators by providing them with the expertise needed for the digital age. This initiative will help ensure the development of a talented generation of programmers capable of leading the sector's future development and contributing to building and strengthening the UAE's knowledge economy,” he added.