Jamaica may soon start teaching coding in all of its schools, as the Caribbean country gears up to reform its educational system in a bid to build a digital economy.
Adding coding to the school curriculum and establishing exclusive institutions to provide STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education are on top of the government’s agenda.
“Coding will be taught from grades one to thirteen across all public schools and our youth will acquire basic numeracy, language, and problem-solving skills, which are the prerequisites for coding,” stated the country’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness after unveiling ‘The Reform of Education in Jamaica 2021 Report’.
The goal of the government is to develop Jamaica into a regional Silicon Valley, he added. Also in the report is a plan to build institutions focused on performing arts.
The government says it has teamed up with Amber Innovations and Digicel Group to introduce coding to schools.
All the initiatives, the PM said, are aimed at equipping Jamaicans with the education and skills necessary for them to function effectively in a digital economy.
“We will be moving with certainty and deliberate speed towards a digital economy, and we can’t leave anybody behind. We have to develop a strategy as to how to educate those who have this digital reluctance. […] We need to ensure that all our students, leaving our schools, have these foundational literacies,” he added.