By The Sunday Nation
The initiative to build an online knowledge community to meet the needs of the country’s digital future is being spearheaded by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES).
CodingThailand.org is intended to spur the interest of digital-age youth in computer science, an essential skill for the digital age. The Coding Thailand project is a key example of the Digital Economy and Society Ministry’s response to the changing society, said Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj. The goal is to educate Thai people for the digital era, he said.
“CodingThailand.org has been developed as an online learning platform to promote digital technologies and computer science, and also to inculcate systematic thinking in Thais,” said Pichet. “These elements are crucial to the development of a digital workforce, a preparation needed to drive Thailand’s digital economy and society.”
Coding Thailand will become Thailand’s computer-science knowledge centre, the richest source of knowledge that people, including youth, could access anytime, anywhere, he said. Classrooms do not need to exist only in their traditional form, but also be made available via cellphones, laptops, tablets and other smart devices.
Through accessing CodingThailand.org, citizens would be able to keep pace with evolving technologies and even create them. And the website would thus become a key tool to reduce social, educational and economic gaps. Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, president and CEO of the Depa, said the agency created CodingThailand.org as an online learning platform in collaboration with Code.org and private sector companies.
Code.org is a non-profit organisation and the world’s leading computer-science learning centre. Private sector companies involved in the project include Microsoft, Cisco, Google and Aksorn Education.
Content is being translated into Thai and aims to cater to Thai youth through the inclusion of entertainment and creative design. The idea is for youth to have fun while learning computer science and coding. The site will include content deemed very relevant to the life of younger people “as we efficiently blend knowledge into the content,” said Nuttapon.
“This way, the number of digital citizens in Thailand should increase fast. These citizens can be developed further into specialists, the resources Thailand still lacks.”
“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,” said Nuttapon.
Code.org, a non-profit, offers high quality curriculum and resources for students and teachers at no cost. The worldwide leader in K12 computer science education, it has enrolled over 25 million students and 800,000 teachers from over 180 countries.