Connacht Tribune - Opinion Piece
Galway Minister takes CoderDojo class initiative into Leinster HouseJuly 25, 2012 - 11:17am
Galway’s Junior Minister Ciaran Cannon hosted the first ever CoderDojo class in Leinster House last week and he was joined by children and tutors from all over Ireland including a number from Galway.
The Minister of State at the Department of Education, who is one of the founders of the Athenry CoderDojo, said that these classes not only provide our children with amazing opportunities that may not be available to them during normal school hours, but they will also ensure that we are producing the talented graduates that Ireland needs for the future.
“It gives me great pleasure to host the first, of what I hope will be an annual, CoderDojo in Leinster House. Today, the children of TDs and Senators from all Parties, together with children who already attend Dojos all over Ireland, have been invited to take part in a class to teach computer programming to children from the age of seven to seventeen."
"As one of the founders of the Athenry CoderDojo, I have seen first-hand the impact this initiative can have on children who are given the opportunity to develop mentally, socially and academically in an informal educational setting. The first ever CoderDojo was held in Cork just one year ago and the concept has since spread to all corners of the world, from Tokyo to Jamaica and far beyond, building a global brand and community of CoderDojoers.
“Here in Galway we have two Dojos, one in the city and one in Athenry. We are already looking at possibilities for other Galway towns as part of a national effort to have 300 dojos in Ireland this time next year."
“Ireland is at the cutting edge of IT development right now, with the result that we have seen a number of tech and web-based companies basing and expanding operations here, particularly in Galway. The tech sector has been identified as one with a significant capacity to grow jobs and the Government has been working hard to develop our reputation as a technological hub."
“It is in all of our interests to ensure that our children are getting the best possible start in life and that they are equipped to meet the needs of the future. If they are encouraged to get involved in computer programming from an early age, their path to future success will be considerably easier. We will ensure that we are producing highly qualified graduates who are proficient in computer and web development."
“The goal for the future is to build on the success of the past year by bringing CoderDojos, which are run on an entirely voluntary basis by mentors who give freely of their time and cost the children nothing, to every parish in the country.
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.