CodePact is an initiative set to teach Dutch children IT & programming skills.
CodePact is a public-private partnership, led by Startup Delta. The programme involves both government and businesses (e.g. Microsoft), as well as startups.
CodePact aims to teach 400,000 children how to code.
The partnership has been championed by Neelie Kroes.
About Digital Education policy tools:
Most governments are investing heavily in digital education and ‘e-skills’. Many countries now have dedicated programmes beginning with primary and secondary education and extending to the entire population as part of vocational training and ‘life-long learning’. Governments have an important role in listening to industry to determine which skills are in demand, and feeding back to educational establishments concerning what kind of training is effective. Several countries have special digital literacy initiatives for groups who lag behind (e.g. older people and women).
Schools are an obvious area of focus. Unfortunately, there are massive differences between schools in levels of ICT intensity. Part of the problem is a lack of skilled teachers; for that reason, several countries offer additional incentives for people to train (or retrain) as computer science teachers, in order to build capacity. Other initiatives are focused on parents, since there is clear evidence that children who are exposed by their parents to innovations in given technological field are more likely themselves to become innovators in that same field. Outside the school system, policies tend to focus on career support, job matching, awareness raising, ICT professionalism and skills gaps analysis. Common mechanisms include Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), ICT apprenticeships, or co-opting leading ICT companies to provide specialist training for hard-to-fill vacancies.
Specific, high-profile examples include: Code Club, UK – a nationwide network of volunteer-led, after-school coding clubs for children; Coder Dojos – a worldwide movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people; #HITSA, Estonia – a nonprofit association which runs ICT summer schools and various other educational programmes; CodePact, Netherlands – a public-private partnership, led by Startup Delta, which aims to teach 400,000 children how to code.
On a city or regional level, where local authorities have control over schools, policies are typically aimed at ensuring that schools (from primary schools upwards) have appropriate IT equipment; that the curriculum includes digital skills; that teachers are themselves appropriately digitally-trained and incentivised to include digital skills in their lessons; and that parents appreciate the need for their children to gain digital skillsets.
Read more about this type of policy instrument in Nesta's Idea Bank for policymakers.