Microsoft Hosts #HourOfCode 2017 Campaign to Build Future Ready Generations in Thailand

 |   Thornthawat Thongnab

Hour of Code Thailand is part of global Microsoft initiative aimed to equip youth in Thailand and the region with the digital skills required to thrive in the digital economy.

Bangkok, December 8, 2017 – Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, in partnership with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, and Change Fusion, recently hosted #Hour of Code 2017, a full-day programme with inspiring sessions aimed to spur Thai youth’s interest in computer science through basic coding and other fun activities related to computer skills – the educational disciplines necessary to succeed in the digital future. The event is part of Microsoft’s Future Ready #Hour of Code 2017 campaign, which aims to encourage Thai youth to try and pursue computer science and get ready for the future.

The event saw more than 146 youth aged 8 to 16 as well as people with disabilities from the NGOs come together from different parts of the country to learn basic computer science skills and get inspirational advice from industry leaders. Educators interested in computer science in schools and non-profit organizations also participated in the event.

Technology is transforming our society and economy at an unprecedented rate, putting new demands on our current workforce as well as on youth who will soon join that workforce. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, 65 percent of children who enter primary school today will work in completely new jobs that do not currently exist.

Mr. Dhanawat Suthumpun, Managing Director, Microsoft Thailand said “With the rising digital economy and the nonstop pace of technological evolution, Microsoft, together with our partners, have an imperative to prepare the future of our country to pursue careers that are in demand to help them achieve more. The main objective of Microsoft’s Future Ready #HourOfCode 2017 campaign is to ensure that the young generation is well equipped with the knowledge required to succeed in the digital era. Beyond computing jobs, computer science education also provides critical skills that are now required in any field – from music and fashion, to manufacturing, health care and transportation.

“Computer science is about much more than learning to code. It teaches creativity, computational thinking, analytical reasoning, and complex problem solving – skills that are essential for the jobs of today and tomorrow. From basic computer literacy to computer science education, digital skills can open the door to greater economic opportunities,” Mr. Dhanawat added.

Preparing young people for the economy of the future has always been the aim of public and private educational sector leaders. However, the speed and scale of today’s technological revolution will fundamentally change how it can be done. As Thailand is readying to fully implement ‘Thailand 4.0’ plan, the urgency has never been greater to rethink current pedagogical approaches and embrace new teaching methods that will equip Thai youth with the skills and capabilities to succeed in the digital future.

“One of the most important missions of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society is to help moving Thailand toward economic and social development in Thailand 4.0 era. We will not be able to accomplish this goal without youth – the fundamental foundation, who are the future of our country. Teachers and educators also have a vital role in shaping the future of our children. Today’s event #HourOfCode’ is thus truly beneficial for Thai youth in developing computer science skills crucial in Thailand 4.0 era,” said Mrs. Vunnaporn Devahastin Na Ayutthaya, Secretary-General of National Digital Economy and Society Commission, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society

As the government and companies are making steps to bridge the digital gap, it’s also necessary to increase public awareness of the importance of computer science skills for t he future generations of Thais. Uncle Pee – Pakawat Leupatanasuk, an IT influencer andThailand’s most popular game streamer, was a special guest at #HourOfCode event where he shared his experiences from Bett Asia 2017 with the youth and led a live stream of a new Minecraft tutorial Hero’s Journey, that uses game elements loved by so many young people and presents computer science concepts in a fun and creative way.

“Students today face a future workforce unlike that of any previous generation due to the advancement of technology. Those who have necessary knowledge and skills in computer science and coding, will have a great advantage as they embark on the increasingly digital world,” said Pakawat Leupatanasuk ‘Uncle Pee’. “However, many kids are reluctant to even try coding as they think it’s too difficult and boring. Bringing Minecraft, a game played by millions of people, to the classroom curriculum is a brilliant initiative. I applaud Microsoft’s creative approach that clearly shatters the “difficult and not so much fun” stereotype and shows the youth that learning computer science can be fun and engaging.”

Jirapat Phantteranurugh, a 16-year-old girl from Mater Dei College, was one of the many youth that had a chance to experience first-hand, what it is like to learn coding in a fun and engaging way at #HourOfCode workshop. “This is my second time attending #HourOfCode event hosted by Microsoft.

I’m a big fan of Minecraft as it is not only fun, but also helps bring out my creativity. Besides Minecraft, I also had a chance to learn about Microsoft technology such as Microsoft MakeCode, Microsoft Mixed Reality, Paint 3D, OneNote and Microsoft Excel. I think it is very useful and makes me feel more passionate about computer science. Since childhood, I have always found computer science interesting . My dad works in computer science related field, so I think it is in my DNA.”

The Future Ready#HourOfCode2017 campaign is one of many Microsoft Thailand’s initiatives that support the company’s commitment to play a part in driving the country towards ‘Thailand 4.0’ through development and enhancement of digital literacy and skills. Besides #HourOfCode event, the Future Ready #HourOfCode2017 campaign also includes basic computer science trainings which have been conducted in 34 schools with 4,120 students on Skype-a-thon to inspire the young generation to try and pursue computer science.

Hour of Code also demonstrates Microsoft Asia’s ongoing support for to conduct over 30 Hour of Code events in Asia to encourage youth to try and pursue computer science and get future ready. Microsoft is part of the global call to action for students to spend an hour learning the basics of coding, during Computer Science Education Week (4-10 December).

For more information please visit Microsoft Thailand News Center.