Coding lessons for pupils in Ghent

The goal is to teach children the basics of programming in a playful way

  • February 25, 2020 14:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium code city
Source: City of Ghent

Being able to code is certainly a skill that earns a living. Moreover, coding turns into one of the mandatory proficiencies in the 21st century, both for job seekers and for regular digital users.

Here is why it is of utmost importance to get prospective job applicants acquainted with coding as early as possible so as to give them a higher chance for professional realisation. And one future-proofing Belgian city is perfectly aware of this.

Code City in Ghent

By starting the Code City project two years ago, Ghent wants to better equip the local students for the digital era. Furthermore, lessons in programming and computational thinking should teach youngsters much more than computer skills. Rather, the classes ought to prepare young people to approach complex problems in a logical and efficient way.

The Code City project sets the objective to offer coding lessons to 4,150 students from 180 classes in Ghent. In the spring of 2018, 104 coaches visited 72 schools and 130 classes and met 3000 students. Last year the numbers were even higher with 150 coaches, 75 schools, 160 classes and 3750 students.

In 2020 the programme continues, this time expanded beyond 5th and 6th graders to the first year of secondary education. In 2018 there was a Minecraft Code Hour, followed by Bluebot robots in 2019 and this year the volunteer IT coaches will be using a microcomputer with LED lights to introduce the coding subject.

“Coding and computational thinking are skills that are already necessary in many jobs. In the future that will be the case for 9 out of 10 jobs. Computational skills also offer benefits outside the IT sector. 

Solving complex problems and logical thinking will become crucial skills for more and more jobs. That is why these lessons are very important.”, said Sofie Bracke, alderman for Economy and Digitalization quoted by the municipal website.

Training for teachers

In addition to students, teachers can also attend lessons on how they themselves can integrate coding, programming, computational thinking and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) activities into the classroom.

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