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Coding Thailand to advocate digital technology and computer science among Thai youth

An announcement
made by the Bangkok
Post
highlighted Coding Thailand, an initiative of the Digital
Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA), in collaboration with the private sectors,
which aims to encourage the youth of Thailand to develop computational thinking
skills.

The “Coding Thailand” project was
introduced by DEPA to inspire the youth of Thailand to develop computational
thinking skills.

A collaboration between DEPA, an agency
under the Ministry
of Digital Economy and Society (MDES), and the private sector, this
project aims to reach more than 10 million people within three years.

The main principle of Coding Thailand is
that any medium can be used as a learning tool for the youth. According to MDES
Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj, devices such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets
or any other smart device can be used to reach the ultimate goal, which is to
educate Thais.

The MDES has assigned DEPA to implement
Coding Thailand as an online learning platform to promote digital technologies
and computer science, as well as to instil systematic thinking in Thais.

The aforementioned elements are vital for
the development of a digital workforce, which is needed to drive Thailand's digital
economy and society especially since there is a shortage of data scientists and
cybersecurity experts in Thailand. Hence, Coding Thailand is considered as a
means of tackling that issue, albeit in the long-term.

Social media can be harnessed to bolster
the project since Thailand leads in social media consumption, with people using
related platforms with an average of five hours a day. He said, "The
mobile subscription rate in Thailand is now 182%, with internet penetration at
68%.”

Coding Thailand will entail setting up a
computer-science knowledge centre that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. With access
to CodingThailand.org, the long-term goal is to not just help Thais keep pace
with ever-evolving technologies, but develop innovations of their own.

Moreover, the target of the initiative is to
reduce social, educational and economic gaps. "Coding Thailand will open
up a new dimension of learning, as it encourages analytical thinking,
problem-solving skills and creativity. All of these elements are essential for
every occupation. They are also the foundation for pursuing advanced digital
skills,” he added.

Code.org President Ms Alice Steinglass said
computational thinking and computer sciences are foundational to education in
the 21st century as these skills will prepare students throughout Thailand to
not only use apps and websites, but also to create the apps and websites of the
future.

Code.org's curriculum and resources are
available free of charge to teachers and students. This endeavour resulted to
having more than 25 million students and 800,000 teachers from over 180
countries enrolled in the courses. Reach has been wide since the courses are
available in over 50 languages.

Microsoft Thailand and DEPA worked together
in order to localise the content for Thailand. DEPA President Dr Nuttapon
Nimmanphatcharin explained that Coding Thailand created as an online learning
platform in partnership with Code.org, a non-profit organisation serving as the
world's leading computer science learning centre.

Dr Nuttapon said that initially, the coding
programme will be conducted to 5,000 schools in the DEPA network.

Private sector players who have contributed to
the project are Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Aksorn Education among others.

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