The European Commission and BeCentral will host a panel debate on the challenges and opportunities of bringing coding and tech related activities to schools. Speakers include Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Rosanna Kurrer, EU Code Week Ambassador and Co-Founder of CyberWayFinder, Gijs Cortens, Co-Founder of HackYourFuture, Sharon O’Mara, Senior Director, World Wide Education Programs/Marketing, Apple and Kalle Enström, Director of Årstaskolan Stockholm.

Visual announcing the discussion on coding in schools with Commissioner Gabriel

This EU Code Week discussion, open to all, will take place at BeCentral, Cantersteen 12, 1000 Brussels at 12.30-13.30 on Monday 15 October. 

The panel will be moderated by Bulgarian-born Rositsa Zaimova, Associate Partner & Co-Founder of Dalberg Data Insights, Forbes 30under30. The discussion will focus on the following questions:

  • Digital skills are essential for today’s life and labour market. Yet 15% of young people do not have basic digital skills in Europe. How can initiatives such as EU Code Week support the upskilling of Europe’s young people?
  • Many countries are introducing digital skills including programming in their schools curricula. Some are not. What are the main challenges? And opportunities?
  • What are the best practices in Europe to teach coding? 
  • The ICT sector is known for being male dominated and lacking diversity. What are the steps currently being done to inspire girls and train women to be part of the sector? What is currently being done to ensure diversity in technology?

 Roundtable and coding workshops

The panel discussion will be preceded by a closed breakfast roundtable hosted by Claire Bury, Deputy Director-General of DG Connect, European Commission who will discuss with students from BeCode, CyberWayFinder, HackYourFuture, Le Wagon, BeStarter on how their training and tech experiences have affected their lives and have an impact on the Digital Single Market in view of the lack of Europeans with basic and advanced digital skills.

Moreover, 80 primary and secondary Belgian students have been invited to take part in workshops which focus on algorithmic thinking, initiation to coding and discovering FabLabs.

A guided tour to the different activities is open for all panel participants at 11.45-12.15. During the tour participants will be able to observe what has been achieved in the workshops.

Background

EU Code Week aims to show how you create with programming and tech. The grassroots initiative also wants to make digital skills and innovation more accessible and inclusive for citizens across Europe. 6-21 October, schools, non-profits, coding clubs and other initiatives will be organizing activities centred on coding, tech and computational thinking. To find out more visit the Code Week website and follow the initiative on Twitter @CodeWeekEU and Facebook CodeEU.