Another 50 students will participate in the Coding in Schools Pilot programme being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
The training for this second batch of student coders is being facilitated through sponsorship of $18 million from the NCB Foundation.
The funds were electronically handed over on Thursday (July 22) during a ceremony at the Amber/HEART Academy, which is housed at the Stony Hill HEART Academy in St. Andrew.
This new batch of students will join the first 50 cohort of coders who are now trainees taking part in a one-year residency programme. These trainees have been paired with seasoned coders and will now undergo intensive practical training over the next six months.
Following the students’ successful completion of the programme, they will be employed with the Amber Group software company as developers.
Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, thanked the NCB Foundation for coming onboard and supporting the programme “in such a big way” with its generous donation.
“The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information welcomes this support for the second cohort of coders in a continuing collaboration between the HEART/NSTA Trust and the Amber Group,” she said.
She noted that the expansion of the pilot programme is a very important development given the increasing demand for employees with the training to work with today’s technology.
“We at the Ministry of Education Youth and Information recognise that we must build on the capacity of our students to function in the digital space and to help them to be agile and ready for contemporary and emerging jobs, regardless of their backgrounds and starting points in life.
“To help them to adapt to these changes, we must continually reassess our curricula and training programmes to ensure that the knowledge, skills, and values taught remain current and relevant,” she said.
The Education Minister applauded the public-private partnerships in place to support the programme.
“We must work collaboratively to meet the needs of industry and national economic goals,” she said.
The Coding in Schools programme, which was officially launched on May 7, is being piloted in 20 schools, targeting 2,000 students.
The initiative aims to promote the teaching and learning of coding in public educational institutions across Jamaica.
Among the objectives of the engagement are developing skills such as logical and critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, teamwork and mathematics, and instilling confidence in students through coding.