Microsoft strengthens its commitment to drive Thailand’s economy and society through the development of digital-age youths with the launch of “Coding Thailand”
As computational thinking and problem-solving competency are crucial skills for Thai youth to succeed in an increasingly digital world, Microsoft (Thailand) supports the pilot Coding Thailand initiative, in partnership with DEPA, highlighting the development of Codingthailand.org, a Thai computer science learning website, which offers the global Code.org’s high quality curriculums and resources translated and catered to Thai students and teachers at no cost, built on Microsoft’s Azure platform to provide a sustainable online community where knowledge and entertainment are combined to spur digital-age youth’ interest in computer science and train them on necessary digital skills. In the next three years, Codingthailand.org is expected to cover about 10 million Thai youths across the country.
As digital disruption has changed the ways of life, Thailand cannot stand still. Coding Thailand is one of innovative policies that introduced and implemented based on the key principle that classrooms do not need to exist just in traditional forms. Classrooms can also be made available via cell phones, laptops, tablets and smart devices.
The Coding Thailand project represents a new world of education in the digital age and is aimed to be a major tool for the development of digital citizens for industrial, educational and social sectors. Digital citizens are important resources for the Thailand 4.0 goal. It is of most importance that we prepare our human resources, particularly the country’s most valuable assets or youth to drive Thailand’s future digital economy and society.
DEPA has created Codingthailand.org as an online learning platform through a collaboration with Code.org, a non-profit organization that has been the world’s leading computer-science learning center, the private sector including Microsoft and Thai nonprofit partners such as The Office of Scientific and Technological Market Development Foundation, Change Fusion, Redemptorist Foundation and Mechai Foundation.
Dr. Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, President and CEO of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA), said, “Importantly, the Coding Thailand project makes sure Codingthailand.org covers both formal and informal education. Content is well designed to match each level of youth. On top of this, the platform features fun activities to encourage learning outside classrooms. Various activities are held in support of learning and development of thinking skills, computer skills, digital skills, and coding abilities so that learners can develop innovations on their own. Unplug activity is made available for early-childhood learners. This means they can learn without the use of computer. Knowledge about hardware can be added when they grow older. Thai Hour of Code, meanwhile, presents activities for coding knowledge. It is based on Hour of Code, which proves successful worldwide. The content on this part takes root in the belief that everyone can start coding by spending just one hour of learning each week. Such schedule facilitates the learning of computer science in a fun and constructive way. In all, we have truly revolutionized digital learning for Thai youths.”
|Ms. Alice Steinglass, president of Code.org and Mr. Dhanawat Suthumpun, Managing Director , Microsoft (Thailand) Ltd|
Mr. Dhanawat Suthumpun, Managing Director , Microsoft (Thailand) Ltd., said, “A core part of our mission to empower every person on the planet is equipping youth around the world, young Thais among them, with digital skills, helping them achieve their goals and overcome digital limitations in the digital economy. We believe that young people play an important role in the innovative development and Thai youth are on par with youngsters the world over. I am confident that this platform will help students and teachers to become the driving force in helping the government to achieve Thailand 4.0 agenda.”
Microsoft is committed to help the government address the jobs and skills gaps in Thailand and advance greater inclusion for people from diverse backgrounds in urban and rural areas through its advanced technology. Thus, from the very beginning, Microsoft dedicated two full time resources to the project team, one with the technology expertise and the other with philanthropies expertise to ensure a sustainable initiative that will thereafter be scaled into the nationwide level. Apart from bringing its intelligent and secure platform, Microsoft Azure, to develop an online learning platform for Codingthailand.org, and promoting coding skills, it will also collaborate with DEPA to support teachers and student training program “Training the Trainers,” that goes deep into core computer science concepts and practices to help develop digital technology skills covering 5 regions in Thailand.
Ms. Alice Steinglass, president of Code.org, said “The digital economy is becoming an increasingly important part of every industry and every job. Experts predict that automation will impact or replace more than half of jobs globally. To prepare our youth for the future, it is important that every child have the opportunity to learn computer science and computing sciences. Computational thinking and computer sciences are foundational to education in the 21st century. And, these skills will prepare students throughout Thailand to not only use apps and websites, but to create the apps and websites of the future.”
The project will develop and roll out a robust teacher training program for a computer science course that goes beyond an hour of code and dives into core computer science concepts and practices, channeling both face-to-face training as well as through online tools. By utlizing the codingthailand.org as learning resource, 10 millions youth from elementary all the way to high school level will be benefited by the plateform.
Mr. Varit Juramongkol, Prathom 5 Student from Chulalongkorn University Demonstration Secondary School, said, “I started to become interested in coding when I first played Minecraft and unhesitatingly took part in a Microsoft training that used the game as a learning tool afterward. I enjoy learning coding to control robots because it’s fun and I believe that the skills will benefit me in the future. My passion has intensified when I took a coding class at my school where the teacher utilized Code.org as a teaching platform. My dream is to code and build robots that have abilities to help others in need in the future.”
|Ms. Nathaya Chiwaruck and Mr. Varit Juramongkol|
Ms. Nathaya Chiwaruck, Prathom 6 Student from St. Joseph Convent School, said, “I’ve always enjoyed playing games because it’s fun and challenging. I got curious about how games are created and I later found out that you can create games or other designs with coding. I used to think that it was something too difficult for me until I got a chance to learn coding through Code.org and it turned out to be very easy and enjoyable. My goal in the future is to practise and improve my coding skills until I’m good enough to code a game or a smartphone application of my own.”
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Established in 1993, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited aims to Make 70 Million Lives Better by enabling Thai people and businesses to realize their full potential through technology that transforms the way people work, play, and communicate. We offer software, services, and devices that deliver new opportunities, greater convenience, and enhanced value to people’s lives. Working with communities and the Thai government, Microsoft and its partners are committed to working closely with organizations and people across Thailand to fully harness the power of technology and innovation.
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