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Over 400 students to slug it out at first coding contest in Qatar

Over 400 students to slug it out at first coding contest in Qatar


Malek Helali
Doha
THE French-Qatari School Voltaire announced the launch of the first coding competition in Qatar, using Scratch, a visual programming language developed by MIT Lab and aiming to encourage children to enhance their coding skills through interactive learning.
Almost 50 schools and over 400 students have registered to participate in the competition.
The competition, to be held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, UNESCO Doha Office, Qatar National Research Fund and Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC), is targeting students between six and 18 years old in primary, middle and high schools along with students enrolled in extracurricular coding clubs.
Speaking at a press conference in Doha recently, founder of the initiative and computer science and technology teacher Eman Khouja said that coding skills are an essential part of literacy today.
According to her, the competition seeks to boost interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through lucid and enjoyable projects aiming to encourage critical thinking, creativity and innovation.
Asma al Mohannadi, head of the ministry's scientific research team, praised the initiative as well as similar educational projects which contribute to achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030 and motivating students to consider a higher education and professional careers in research, science and technology.
Senior Programme Assistant at UNESCO Office for the GCC and Yemen Marion Desmurger noted that the competition will be held under the internationally agreed-upon framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, which range from promoting healthy lifestyle to eradicating poverty and fighting climate.
"By learning coding, students will see how they can create local solutions through technology to have a positive impact in their communities," she added.
Omar al Jaber, head of strategic partnerships and outreach at QMIC, stated that Qatar National Scratch Coding Competition is part of QMIC's strategy to empower people to make a positive contribution to society through technology and expressed QMIC's interest in promoting additional efforts to support youth through innovative technologies.
The awards ceremony will take place during the National Scientific Research Week at Qatar National Convention Center from March 11 to 15.

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