Fianna Fáil’s Education spokesperson Charlie McConalogue is calling on the Education Minister to explore what options are in place to support the CoderDojo project. The Foundation, which runs free not-for-profit coding clubs (Dojos) for young people, is seeking more investment so that it can expand.
Deputy McConalogue said, “CoderDojo is an excellent and innovative organisation, which has captured the minds of tens of thousands of children across the world. These Dojos teach young people between the ages of 7 and 17 how to code, develop websites, apps, programs and games.
“These children are learning about basic programming and web development, critically important skills in the world they will someday seek work. It’s an initiative that needs to be embraced and expanded. CoderDojo allows children to learn and develop new skills as well as creating an understanding of how programming and web design works. Ireland is home to a number of high profile multinationals, where these skills are in high demand. Children who attend these free Saturday Dojos are equipping themselves with knowledge and experience which will open up a whole range of opportunities for them.
“The Foundation, which is currently funded by philanthropists and corporate donations, estimates that it needs around €500,000 next year and €750,000 the year after to fund its programmes. It is essential that this target is met, and I believe that as policy makers, we should be exploring what options are available to support that work across Ireland. It may be that funding can be made available, or it may be that other supports, such as free access to public facilities for promoting or hosting the project will help establish and maintain more of the clubs.
“As policy makers with an interest in education, we should be actively seeking ways to make this venture sustainable in the long term and I am calling for cross party engagement on this issue.”