Accenture and Expo to provide free coding tutorials to UAE school-kids

04 March 2019 Consultancy-me.com

Professional services firm Accenture is teaming up with Expo 2020 Dubai to provide free coding tutorials to school-age children in the UAE.

The Middle Eastern branch of tech-focused global professional services powerhouse Accenture has announced that it will provide Emirati primary-school students with 2,020 hours’ worth of free coding tutorials in the lead-up to the Expo 2020 Dubai event in October next year – for which Accenture is serving as the official Digital Services Premier Partner and Systems Integrator.

Held at the Expo 2020 Dubai Visitor Centre and delivered in collaboration with the Expo School Programme – which seeks to engage with students and teachers in the UAE through meaningful and interactive educational experiences – the weekly tutorials will be hosted in both Arabic and English and aim to help develop coding and computer science skills in a fun and engaging environment.

“We are proud to announce this important initiative that builds on our robust partnership with Expo 2020,” said Gerardo Canta, Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology practice managing director for the Middle East & Turkey. “As the UAE strives to cement its position as a digital hub in the region, it is essential that our youth are fluent in coding to meet these aspirations.”Accenture and Expo to provide free coding tutorials to UAE school-kidsThe local ‘2020 Hours of Code’ initiative forms part of the global firm’s broader ‘Hour of Code’ activities, which it has been involved in through a partnership with the global non-profit organisation code.org since 2015. Last year alone, nearly 2,500 Accenture employees signed on to teach an hour of code at local events in their communities, reaching some 100,000 students worldwide.

Altogether, the Hour of Code programme since its 2013 founding by brothers and Harvard computer science graduates Hadi and Ali Partovi has already delivered over 600 million hours of coding – with at least one in every ten students worldwide having participated in tutorials which are now held in 45 languages and counting, including the addition last year of Vietnamese and Tagalog among others.

For the new local initiative, Accenture states the aim of building invaluable critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in young UAE students regardless of their future career interests. “Though delivering more than 2,000 hours of coding is an ambitious target, it is a testament to our passion and commitment to equipping this nation’s youth with the right tools to succeed,” said Canta.

Mohammed Alhashmi, Expo 2020’s chief technology, added: “In line with Expo’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the 2020 Hours of Code initiative will enable young people to explore exciting concepts while developing new skills that will empower them in their future careers. Together with Accenture, we aim to help take our youth’s digital literacy to the next level.”

Related: KSA workers to benefit from Accenture's $200 million digital skills fund.