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Posted on: Friday 28 December, 2018 2:00 am
Finastra’s Hour of Code program connects over 380 kids in the UAE to the world of coding

Finastra in collaboration with Code.org, teamed up with two local schools to introduce young minds to the world of coding and computer science. The initiative is part of Finastra’s long-term commitment to delivering computer science skills to children and young people in the rapidly advancing digital Middle East.


The Hour of Code initiative is designed to demystify code and broaden participation in the field of computer science. During the three-day training, Finastra hosted 388 students from Dubai International Academy (DIA) and Collegiate American School (CAS). The children had the opportunity to design and execute commands within a gaming environment such as Star Wars or Flappy Bird. Younger children, between seven and nine years of age, used ‘blocks’ of code in a drag-and-drop environment, while older children learned to write code in JavaScript.


According to the World Economic Forum’s report on ‘Future of Jobs and Skills’, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. Participation in the program allows Finastra to help further expand the movement globally and to introduce computer science to a wider audience, encouraging more girls and under-represented minorities to get involved.


Speaking on the initiative, Wissam Khoury, Managing Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Finastra said, “Past waves of technological advancement have brought us to the cusp of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. Through the Hour of Code initiative, we want to introduce innovation in the old silos of education systems, and open new avenues for the younger generation while simultaneously demonstrating the power of coding. The initiative is a great way to reach young people from all backgrounds, to make them more aware of the potential of computer science, open their eyes to new career opportunities and spark their interest in learning more.”


Zunaira Majid Siddiqi, ICT teacher at Dubai International Academy Al Barsha said, “Children who took part in the Hour of Code initiative were extremely positive about their experience.  It has really raised our students’ aspirations and shown them what opportunities there are for coders. We believe it is very important to forge links between schools and the workplace even for young pupils so that they are encouraged to link their educational experiences with the real world.”


Finastra is supporting schools and youth centers in the communities where its offices are based. The company has ambitious plans for the Hour of Code initiative around the world, with programming at company headquarters in seven countries - the UK, France, Hungary, Romania, India, Canada and the USA – aimed toward supporting coding training among local youth populations.


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