Microsoft says it will provide Computer Science Education opportunities for youths around the globe through grants to 100 non-profit partners in 55 countries, including Nigeria
Microsoft says the opportunities comes as part of its global youth spark initiative of the technology company.
The partners are expected to leverage the power and energy of local schools, businesses and community organizations to create new and engaging opportunities for students to explore computer science. They will teach students valuable skills to help them prepare for and succeed in jobs that are open today across industries, along with new jobs that will be created, Microsoft says.
According to the tech company, the partners will also build upon the work that Microsoft already has underway, including its commitments to computer science education through programs like Hour of Code with Code.org, BBC micro: bit and TEALS. Global Youth Spark Initiative, Still, much more progress must be made.
According to Microsoft, despite the need for basic computational thinking skills across all subject areas, in the U.S. less than 25 percent of high schools offer computer science classes. Only 2.5 percent of U.S. high school graduates go on to study computer science in college, and of this small percentage, only 1 in 5 computer science graduates is female.
“Globally, some countries have made computer science a mandatory subject in secondary schools, but we know firsthand through our own work that far too few schools around the world provide courses in computing. We also recognize that governments play a critical role in continued progress on this important issue”, the company noted.
“We know that no single organization or company can close the global computer science education skills gap. That is why we are committed to work in partnership with others. Every young person should have an opportunity, a spark, to realize a more promising future. Together with our nonprofit partners, we are excited to take a bold step toward that goal today”, Microsoft further stated.
“Our efforts have focused on leveraging longstanding community relationships of more than 100 nonprofit partners around the world to create access to computer science, and also to break down barriers and stereotypes that are keeping large populations of youth out of computer science education, even when the opportunities are available”, the company explained.
The company assured that it will continue to work with policymakers around the world to support the policy and funding necessary to expand computer science into public education, adding that in the U.S., Microsoft is proud to support “Computer Science For All”, a national effort created by President Barack Obama to give all American students the opportunity to learn computer science in school.
“Later this month, we will bring together some of our local nonprofit partners from around the world during a Youth Spark Summit at the Microsoft campus in Redmond. We’ll learn, discuss, share ideas and develop action plans so that, together with our partners, we can continue to improve and bring better knowledge and expertise to local communities”, Microsoft says.