Code In The Community (CITC) is a large scale coding programme to get children from disadvantaged backgrounds interested in coding.
CITC offers Scratch for 8-11 year olds and Python for 12-15 year olds, structured as a 20-hour curriculum conducted over 8 weeks. It is the only programme in Singapore that provides disadvantaged children with free, multi-level coding classes, so those who show an interest in coding can progress to the next level.
Under this program, each child will go through a 8-week curriculum consisting of a two-hour lesson each week. Children 8-11 years old will learn Scratch while the 12-15 year olds will learn Python programming. The first 3 years of the programme (2017-2019) were funded by Google, with support from Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Eurasian Association (EA), Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) and Yayasan Mendaki.
Many of these children want to continue learning coding, hence Google and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) are jointly funding another 3 years of CITC (2020-2022).
Our goal with the next 3 years of CITC is to offer a new follow-on (Applications) programme for the students who have graduated from the Foundation programme. The curriculum for this will build upon students’ learnings from the Foundations programme, while incorporating a maker element to apply their learnings, introducing more complex concepts like design thinking to solve defined problems.
CITC 2020 expands the reach of the programme to another 6,000 kids over the next 3 years. All beneficiaries are means-tested to ensure that the programme benefits children who otherwise will not have access to coding lessons. If successful, we expect a total of 9,000 seats to be offered to disadvantaged children in the next 3 years (6,000 at the Foundation level and 3,000 in level 2).
CITC also complements the government’s push towards a SmartNation on a national level. Beyond 2022, we hope government agencies and private companies can and will step up to ensure continuity of the programme. We are already seeing this, with organizations like the National Library Board (NLB) and various Community Centres and Clubs providing their venues pro-bono, and also companies like GovTech and UBS encouraging their employees to volunteer with CITC. Public and private organisations that want to support CITC beyond 2022 will have access to a pool of more than 1,500 volunteers who are already trained and have experience teaching or assisting in digital literacy programmes.