Castries, September 8, 2021The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) concluded its Summer 2021 Computer Coding Workshops for regional students on August 28 with two public showcases. The student teams demonstrated their projects on website development and videogames based on the computer language, Python. The next session of these two workshops will begin in early January 2022.

Coding (or programming) is used by computer programmers to give instructions to computers. That is, coding is used to design computer functions. The knowledge-based workforce of the future where coding will be an essential skill is here. And while the rest of the world has long taught that skill in preparation for the modern workforce, the Caribbean is lagging way behind. These CSF workshops are the catch-up solution St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) is pleased to support.

The CSF first hosted its coding workshops (Spring and Summer sessions) as a 2018 pilot project in Barbados. In 2019, the workshop was replicated in Saint Lucia and Barbados for students in these countries, the OECS and Eastern Caribbean. One year later, sessions were held in Dominica. This year, one hundred and six (106) students from across the region (including Saint Lucia) participated in virtual classes.

The workshops are for Caribbean citizens who are at least 15 years of age – especially out-of-school and at-risk youth, disabled individuals, and women. Secondary school science and mathematics teachers are also encouraged to register. The goals include having an equal number of males and females in the classroom who will address the challenge of low numbers of unskilled ICT workers in the region, stimulate more interest in science and engineering careers as well as tech-based entrepreneurship.

LUCELEC Corporate Communications Manager Roger Joseph says the company is committed to the workshop because of its focus on youth, education and tech training.

“LUCELEC always supports science and technology education and training. We see that type of training as helping us – as a country and a region – to design solutions to some of our unique challenges as small developing states. It also opens the door for us to be not just importers of technology but developers and eventually exporters of technology as well. Providing computer coding skills to your young people, women and differently abled in particular, provides opportunities for them to be technology entrepreneurs or offer their services to anyone around the globe with just a laptop and an internet connection. That will help to address to some degree the unemployment challenges of the region.”

The CSF workshops fill an educational void not yet covered by the CSEC curriculum.


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