The Turnbull Government has thrown its support behind an initiative to provide more Australian children with an opportunity to learn how to code and be creative in digital environments.
The Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham today marked the first anniversary of Code Club Australia with a $500,000 commitment to expand their teaching of important computer skills to school children aged nine to 11.
Minister Birmingham said more than 10,000 students from 330 primary schools across Australia are currently involved in Code Club, learning to program and create things like computer games and websites.
“The Turnbull Government’s commitment of $500,000 matches the support of the Telstra Foundation and will help Code Club Australia nearly double its reach for teaching coding to primary school children in Australia,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Code Club is a great way to engage children from an early age in the world of computing and programming, skills that will serve them well throughout their schooling life and beyond.”
Minister Birmingham said Code Club Australia aims to teach children the basics of computer programming and logic and help them develop creativity and problem solving skills.
Liberal Candidate for North Sydney, Trent Zimmerman said the expansion of Code Club will greatly benefit children in the electorate.
“Today already around 75 per cent of jobs in the fastest growing industries demand workers with skills in STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and maths – and this will become more important in the future, especially in areas like North Sydney which are looking to attract more businesses in the innovation and technology sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Engaging children early in activities like programming therefore gives them a head start. The money the Turnbull Government is investing in Code Club Australian complements the $12 million the government is committing to STEM education as part of the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness agenda.”
“Last month a report found that only half of year 6 and year 10 students in Australia are competently skilled in the practical use of computers and information,” Mr Birmingham said.
“Australian children are high adopters of new technology and social media devices, yet we know this does not always translate into practical or useable skills. We live in a digital age and our children must be able to take full advantage of the vast array of information that these technologies make available.
“Code Club Australia is a great way to get children excited about computers and interested about programming and as it enters its second year I’d encourage more schools and school students to talk about coding and to get involved.”
Code Club Australia is a not-for-profit organisation supported by the Telstra Foundation and led by teachers and volunteers. For more information about Code Club Australia visit: www.codeclubau.org
Senator Birmingham’s media contact: James Murphy 0478 333 974