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|10 February, 2019

Saudi Arabia's largest ever coding initiative reaches over 1mln people

1,025,971 participants completed courses in the MakeCode, JavaScript, and Python programming languages.

  • 1,025,971 participants completed courses in the MakeCode, JavaScript, and Python programming languages.
  • The course was available across Saudi Arabia, reaching 192 provinces, cities, and villages, as well as Arabic-speaking participants in 139 countries worldwide.
  • Participants’ ages ranged from 8 to over 65, and 53% were women.

The Misk Foundation today celebrated the completion of the second edition of Saudi Codes, the largest initiative of its kind ever held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at an event in Riyadh. 

Saudi Codes is an initiative designed to break the barrier of fear many people have towards computer programming, by making the learning of programming languages fun, accessible, and relevant. This second edition of the initiative has introduced over 1 million participants in Saudi Arabia and over 130 countries worldwide to coding, using the JavaScript, Python and MakeCode languages.

Available online globally and through a series of travelling roadshows across the cities and villages of the Kingdom, Saudi Codes is a partnership between Misk, the Saudi Ministry of Education, the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Saudi Telecom Company (STC). Saudi Codes consists of four elements: supplying coding instruction, a coding pioneers program, a 2030 coding competition, and a special program to empower women to enter the coding field.

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Attendees of the event, held at AlRaidah Digital City, included His Excellency Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, His Excellency Bader Al Asaker, Chairman of the Board of the Misk Initiatives Center, and representatives of the private and non-profit sector partner organizations.

Deemah Alyahya, Executive Manager of Misk Innovation, welcomed the partnership between the public, private, and non-profit sectors, saying, “this partnership has brought new skills and opportunities to a wider array of people than ever before. Together we are demonstrating that coding skills can and should be brought within anyone’s reach, and together we are empowering people with the knowledge, skills, and coding confidence they need for a bright future in the Knowledge Economy. In doing so, we are driving the digital transformation of the Kingdom and ensuring its place on the global front-line of innovation.”

The day-long celebration saw 60 participants take on an “Ideathon” to develop solutions for improving Saudi lifestyles through sports, entertainment, healthcare, transportation, financial awareness, and recycling and sustainability. The winners of this final challenge were announced in an evening ceremony, which also recognised the achievements of the Saudi Codes ambassadors, the support of numerous private and public sector partners, and the wider results of the initiative. 

The second initiative of Saudi Codes focused on the MakeCode, JavaScript, and Python programming languages, and also trained Saudi Codes Ambassadors to further promote the initiative within the Kingdom and act as mentors to new participants.

Misk is planning a third edition of Saudi Codes which will focus on future skills such as AI and data analytics for people with non-technology backgrounds.

-Ends-

  • About Misk Foundation: Mohammed bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Foundation (the Misk Foundation) is a non-profit philanthropic foundation established by H.R.H. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discover, develop and empower Saudi youth to become active participants in the knowledge economy. Misk specifically focuses on four key areas: education, creative and digital media, technology, and culture and arts.  Misk pursues this agenda both through its own programs, and through partnerships with local and global organizations. Website: https://misk.org.sa/en/
  • About Misk Innovation: Misk Innovation is one of the initiatives of the Misk Foundation, which aims to raise the level of training qualifications for youth and enable them to achieve the highest international standards for training in the areas of technology and innovation.
© Press Release 2019

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