Canada Learning Code receives $9.4 million from govt’s CanCode program

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Canada Learning Code, an initiative that specializes in digital literacy education, has received $9.4 million in funding from the federal government, as part of the second phase of its CanCode investment.

“Learning digital skills and coding, as well as how technology serves us, will open so many doors for our young people.”

The government said that the funding will allow Canada Learning Code to offer coding and digital skills training to over 272,000 students, from kindergarten to Grade 12. The organization will also offer more than 15,000 teachers the opportunity to gain skills to teach coding in classrooms or to develop those skills. The investment will also be used to fund Code Mobile, a fleet of programs that travel cross-country to bring technology education to youth and adults.

Canada Learning Code, launched in 2016 by Ladies Learning Code, endeavours to design and deliver programming, create strategic industry and public partnerships, train educators, and complete research. Shopify’s Tobi Lütke, Version One Ventures’ Boris Wertz, and Georgian Partners’ Justin Lafayette, initially signed on to drive the initiative.

CanCode is a two-year federal program, created to support opportunities for K-12 students to learn digital skills like coding, data analytics, and digital content development. CanCode has a student stream and a teacher stream, and recipients deliver digital skills and learning opportunities for students from kindergarten to Grade 12 or training programs and workshops for teachers.

The federal budget for 2019 invested $60 million into CanCode, in addition to the $50 million from Budget 2017, giving it a total value of $110 million. The government said that more than 1.9 million students and 61,000 teachers have participated in CanCode activities, and aims to provide an additional 2 million Canadian students and teachers with training by March 2021. More recently, the government invested $1.4 million into First Robotics, an organization that runs digital skills competitions across Canada. The investment was also made through CanCode.

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Through its Code Mobile fleet, which is equipped with laptops and coding labs, Canada Learning Code aims to offer learning experiences to underrepresented groups in rural and remote communities across the country. Code Mobile began as a road trip in the summer of 2016, when Canada Learning Code transformed a cargo van into a “computer lab-on-wheels,” with which it hosted pop-up workshops in communities nationwide.

“Technology impacts our everyday lives. Learning digital skills and coding, as well as how technology serves us, will open so many doors for our young people,” said Amarjeet Sohi, minister of natural resources. “Giving all children the opportunity to become tech-savvy and learn coding will further strengthen our success as a country.”

“Young Canadians will drive our economic success for years to come,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development. “By investing in resources to teach them digital skills and making higher education more affordable, our government is helping them transition successfully from classrooms to research labs, shop floors or boardrooms.”

Image courtesy Canada Learning Code via Instagram

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast