Around 160 elementary school students from the southern Iraqi Province of Basra have participated in a festival revolved around technology and programming.
In a project aimed at reducing technology illiteracy, the Southern Technical University in the Iraqi province of Basra has conducted a training program aimed at teaching and training young students to use computers effectively. According to a statistic released by the Information and Communications Authority in Basra, only 50% of young children know how to use a computer properly.
As a result, the university has launched the “Future Coders of Iraq” program, which has brought together about 160 elementary school students to teach them how to use technology to benefit themselves.
“‘Future Coders of Iraq’ is an initiative whose goal is programming education,” said Ali Abd al-Jabbar, the initiative’s director. “The first stage includes children aged 9 to 11 years old and in the future, the initiative will target the youth up to 18 years old.”
While the organisers say that they eventually want to teach these children how to program and code, their current program intends to teach them basic skills such as logical and creative thinking, in addition to problem-solving using technology.
Technological literacy is a critical issue to undertake, especially given Iraq’s young population. As a result, the Iraqi Government’s Information and Communications Authority has also launched a program which aims to spread the use of technology and computers throughout all of Iraq. “The Information and Communications Authority launched a community initiative called Dom 2025,” said Safa’ Saleh, the director of the Information and Communications Authority in southern Iraq. “This initiative will focus on the field of programming and technology, and we will seek to develop an e-community.”
While computer science has been taught in Iraq for decades, the introduction of personal computers and mobile devices came after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. However, curriculums in school were not able to adapt to them and integrate the use of technology in the schools.
However, the Iraqi Government and universities across the country are now determined to update the curriculums to teach students in public schools how to use computers as this will allow them to develop themselves and their society.