28.01.2018 - UNESCO Office in Doha

UNESCO supports first national Scratch coding competition in Qatar

©Lycee Voltaire

In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Qatar National Research Fund and Qatar Mobility Innovations Center, UNESCO Office for the GCC and Yemen is partnering with the French-Qatari School Voltaire to launch Qatar National Scratch Coding Competition, the first programming and coding competition using Scratch in Qatar.

Speaking at a press conference organized by all partners at the French-Qatari School Voltaire on Thursday 25 January 2017, Mrs. Eman Khouja, founder of the initiative and computer science & technology teacher, explained that “the ability to code computer programs is an important part of literacy in today’s society. The competition seeks to boost interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through interactive and fun projects aiming to encourage critical thinking, creativity and innovation”.

Asma Al Mohannadi, Head of the Ministry's scientific research team, praised the initiative along with similar projects such as the Al Bairaq programme, which are in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 and greatly contribute to encouraging students to explore higher studies and professional careers in the field of research, science and technology.

Marion Desmurger, Senior Programme Assistant at UNESCO Office for the GCC and Yemen, explained that the competition will be held under the internationally agreed-upon framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, which range from promoting healthy life to eradicating poverty and fighting climate. “By learning coding, students will see how they can create local solutions through technology to have a positive impact in their communities”.

Omar Al-Jaber, Head of strategic partnerships and outreach at QMIC, stated that Qatar National Scratch Coding Competition is part of QMIC’s strategy to empower people to make a positive contribution to society through technology and expressed QMIC’s interest to continue supporting this initiative and additional efforts to support youth through innovative technologies in the future. 

Scratch is a visual programming language developed by MIT Media Lab that encourages children to develop essential coding skills through fun and interactive learning. 

All schools and students aged 6 to 18 years old, in primary, middle and high schools, as well as students attending after-school coding clubs in Qatar are invited to register for the National Scratch Coding Competition until 31 January 2018 on www.qnscc.com. So far, almost 50 schools and more than 400 students have registered to take part in the competition.

The 2018 QNSCC Awards Ceremony will take place during the National Scientific Research Week from 11-15 March 2018 at Qatar National Convention Center. More than 14 prizes will be granted to the three first winning teams in each category and each age-group.

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