Despite the majority of people not being aware that Estonia has became a technology giant, the fact is that it is one of the most advanced countries in Europe when we talk about innovation. Its latest step is to teach kids how to code from the age of seven or eight years old.
Up to 100 percent of Estonian students will learn to write computer programming code thanks to the Tiigrihüppe Foundation, which launched the initiative ProgeTiiger that will transform children from consumers of technology into developers.
According to Ave Lauringson, Training Manager of the foundation, children should not be limited only to learn with the computer or text processing, “They need to understand the working principles of knowledge in programming and technology in general.”
ProgeTiigri's goal is to demonstrate that programming can be interesting and fun, “putting yourself on your computer or your phone.” The project will start as a pilot in a few number of schools this Autumn with students in the first grade and the education will continue until they are around 16, when they finish public school.
Coursework will be designed to reflect students' knowledge of technology, depending on their age, and upper secondary learning on IT will enable students to get higher education.
Besides school teachers, private sector IT companies are also getting involved in the program, because they will be the long-term beneficiaries of a technologically literate populace.
Estonia is trying to overtake the US in the technological race and it will be easy, because most public schools in America focus only on the consumer aspects of using computers, according to a study published by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
Only 14 states adopted secondary state education standards for computer science instruction to a significant degree and no more than nine states allow computer science courses to count as a required graduation credit for either mathematics or science, says the study.
To give importance to computers and coding may seem to much for kids, but with this project Estonia will be prepared to compete in a world where technology is the present and overall, the future.