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MDEC Co-launches Malaysia’s First Tuition-free Coding School

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia’s lead agency in digital transformation, in collaboration with Malaysia’s largest education-focused social enterprise, is officially admitting its first cohort of students to the 42KL campus, the first coding school with zero tuition fees, zero teachers and zero traditional classrooms in Malaysia.

In its continuous efforts to ensure the creation and nurturing of top tech talents needed to fuel the rapid pace of the digital economy, MDEC recognises the importance of public-private collaborations and 42KL represents a major achievement towards this direction.

“The World Economic Forum (WEF)’s “The Future of Jobs Report 2020” stated that in eight of the top ten emerging jobs will require digital tech skills. While LinkedIn’s Emerging Jobs Report Malaysia, 2020, six out of ten top emerging jobs are digital related. All these accentuate the fact that digital jobs will be in high demand moving forward and at MDEC, we are on overdrive to ensure the pipeline of tech talents continues unhindered so that we may achieve the goals as set forth in MyDIGITAL,” said the CEO of MDEC.

The first 42 campus was established in Paris, France in 2013, and the second in Silicon Valley in the US in 2016. The 42 campus in Sunway City Kuala Lumpur offers a unique and unparalleled educational opportunity for all Malaysians, regardless of socioeconomic and educational background.

42 utilises a peer-to-peer learning model where there are no classes nor teachers and students are in charge of their own success and the success of their comrades in a 100% hands-on project environment. To make progress, they have to count on the strength of the group, give and receive information, changing roles between helping others and being helped.

This learning model lies on collective intelligence, as in the professional world, and helps develop talents, not by reproducing or learning by heart the model of a reference teacher, but by searching, experimenting and defending their ideas.

42KL’s vision and non-profit status also align with the objective of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, which is in giving all students equal opportunity to learn. With this alternative learning route, we are doing our small part in ensuring that no one gets left behind.

The education group believes that the future of education is multi-dimensional, and one that fully utilises the resources and technologies available in this 4th Industrial Revolution.

“With 42KL, we can prepare the current generation for it by addressing the talent gap for tech development in Malaysia,” said Professor Elizabeth Lee, CEO of SEG.

Since the launch of the 42KL website in July 2020, a total of 3,600 sign-ups have been garnered up till 1 January 2021. Among the applicants, 1,600 are currently performing the Online Logic & Aptitude Test with more than 600 having passed this test and 225 completing the Piscine Bootcamp. 75 applicants have successfully been enrolled as students in the 12-months Core Programme.

Students of 42KL hail from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, with well over 50% from the B40 income group and aged between 18 and 49 years old.

“I found out about 42KL via MDEC’s LinkedIn page when I was looking for freelance job opportunities. It intrigued me as it offers tuition fee-free course and without classes! If I succeed in my current course, I will continue developing my own projects and I will look for companies to invest in them,” said Nabil Anwar, 21, a cadet at 42KL inaugural cohort.

“I am part of the Piscine, which means I have to pass that first before I continue with the core programme. I really want to get into the core programme because it ensures mastery of a skill. Also, since it is a peer-to-peer environment, when help is needed on the subject matter such as when I need to solve code, other students of say, a different level, will come to my aid. So, this environment works perfectly for me,” Nabihah Md Zaid, 29, who is currently undergoing her Piscine.

The Piscine is a four-week long immersion bootcamp where individuals are tested on their determination and hunger to solve complex puzzles with their peers. Registrations for the next Piscine bootcamp is currently open until July 2021.

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