Finland to teach programming, coding to elementary students

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Finland plans to follow in the footsteps of Estonia by teaching coding and programming to elementary school students.

Alexander Stubb, Finnish Minister of European Affairs and Foreign Trade, said: “It would be a great idea to have coding as a voluntary or otherwise subject in school.”

“Kids today are growing up as natives to technology, and the sooner they get going, the better. It starts with games and familiarizing themselves with gadgets, and coding is a big part of that.”

However, this does not mean that first graders will be required to develop apps. Instead, the move is in line with efforts to promote tech skill development at an early stage.

In 2012, Estonia introduced a similar programme to elementary students with 20 schools testing a program known as ProgeTiiger. This software teaches older students everything from basic logic to C++ and Java.

Meanwhile, Stubb noted that the success story of Nokia in the 90s has increased the country’s confidence that it could also make a name in the tech world.

In fact, the decline of Nokia saw the rise of the startup scene.

Finland is now emerging as one of the world’s hottest new startup hubs, particularly in mobile gaming. The success of Rovio’s Angry Birds empire, along with newcomer Supercell and its famous iOS games Hay Day and Clash of Clans, saw the country attracting tech talent from all around Europe.

Finland is also embracing coding education in higher education through Aalto University’s AppCampus, a mobile app accelerator programme that is funded by the university along with Microsoft and Nokia.


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