The Liberal government is following up on a 2017 budget promise to spend $50 million to help children learn to code as soon as they start school.
Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced the government’s new CanCode program, which hopes to train about one million students from kindergarten to Grade 12 coding and other digital skills, during a stop at Microsoft Canada in Mississauga, Ont. on Monday.
The government says they also want to train students, including traditionally underrepresented groups, in coding to prepare them for the future workforce.
The funding also includes training for 63,000 teachers to learn how to incorporate new technology in the classroom.
The money will be divided between a number of projects, including $10 million for Actua, a group that engages Indigenous youth, girls, at-risk youth and young Canadians living in remote areas in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Coding is already part of the curriculum up to Grade 6 in Nova Scotia and taught in New Brunswick.
In 2016, British Columbia announced plans to have mandatory coding for students between Grade 6-9 by September 2018.
Other recipients of the $50 million include:
- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
- Canada Learning Code
- Cybera Inc.
- Kids Code Jeunesse
- Saskatoon Industry Education Council
- Brilliant Labs
- FIRST Robotics Canada
- Let’s Talk Science
- Grandir sans frontières
- Science North
- The Learning Partnership
- Pinnguaq Ulnooweg Development Group
- Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc
- Fusion Jeunesse Elephant Thoughts Educational Outreach
- Science World