Digital skills have become less of a ‘good-to-know’ but more of a ‘must-know’.
However, not all families can afford coding classes (and subsequently, tuition) for their children.
To address this, a new free programme has been launched to help 1,000 upper primary students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the Central Singapore District pick up digital skills.
The programme is called ‘My Digital Bootcamp’, and “is part of a larger effort to ensure that no one, including children from disadvantaged backgrounds, is left behind as Singapore marches into the digital future”.
Said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran at the launch event for the programme at Townsville Primary School: “We want all our children, in every segment of our society, to be active participants in the digital future.”
A two-day workshop was conducted for 100 pupils from Townsville Primary School and Pathlight School, where they learned programming concepts and used programming language Scratch to create a robot.
The Bootcamp was initiated by the Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC) and is supported by United Overseas Bank (UOB), who donated S$500,000 to fund the programme.
Mayor of Central Singapore District, Ms Denise Phua said: “Equipping Singaporeans with skills to navigate the evolving digital landscape is essential. Children are no exception. Regardless of their starting points in life, they, too, should be given equal opportunities to learn new skills.”
Beyond the workshop, participants will also get digital-making toolkits (which includes a coding card game, and a pen that lets users draw in 3D) to bring home so that they can continue working on their digital skills.
My Digital Bootcamp will be “progressively rolled out until March next year”, and the programme will be conducted during post-examination periods and school holidays for pupils in the 10 schools which have signed up so far.
Featured Image Credit: Waterway Primary School