The Minister of National Education, Children and Youth, Claude Meisch, took advantage of the launch of the European Code Week on October 12, 2020, to present the "Einfach kodéieren" project, which gradually introduces coding into the teaching of Luxembourg schools.
Since September 2020, coding skills are developed in conjunction with mathematical skills. In 2021–2022, they will be part of the competences tested during the common tests organized within the framework of the orientation procedure for secondary education.
From the start of the 2021 school year, coding will also appear in cycles 1 to 3, in a transversal manner.
The Minister welcomed this first step towards a new teaching subject, which helps to bridge the digital gap between school and the rapidly changing society. “I wanted this reform to ensure that every child and young person can acquire the skills to understand and play an active role in the digital world. Coding is the language of the 21st century! ”said the Minister.
Learning this “new language” is about mobilizing a student’s ability to reduce a complex problem to a series of simple issues. This way of thinking, also known as computational thinking, can be taught in a fun, age-appropriate way, often without even using a digital screen.
The introduction of coding in teaching is based on experiences gained over the last two years in 36 pilot classes.
If the objective is not to train future programmers, coding in schools could well awaken vocations towards a sector with a promising future.
The introduction of coding in basic school is accompanied by five closely related elements:
- 15 teachers specialized in digital skills (I-CN), specially recruited to support teachers in each region of basic education;
- training courses organized by the Institut de formation de l’Éducation nationale (IFEN), which are very well attended. The presentation session, organized on March 10 as a webinar, brought together no less than 1,500 teachers;
- specially developed materials, distributed as a starter kit to each school and a website www.educoding.lu, to share course ideas and other materials;
- workshops with external partners. In 2020–2021, 120 different workshops will be offered to schools;
- family afternoons, where parents can discover with their children how to introduce them to coding. Three major events are scheduled for the beginning of next year: on 9 January 2021 at the House of Startups in Luxembourg, on 16 January 2021 at the Regional Cultural Centre Op der Schmelz in Dudelange and on 6 February 2021 at the Aal Seeërei in Diekirch, each time from 2 to 6 pm. Registration is mandatory at www.educoding.lu/event.
The development of digital skills in public education will be continued in September 2021, with the introduction of the new subject “digital sciences” in the 7th grade of secondary school. Gradually, the discipline will be taught up to 5th grade.
Luc Weis, the director of the Service de coordination de la recherche et de l’innovation pédagogiques et technologiques (SCRIPT), presented two websites dedicated to coding at the school.
www.educoding.lu, dedicated mainly to teachers, details the concept of the “einfach kodéieren” project, ideas and proposals for courses and information on materials to deepen their teaching.
www.kodeieren.lu is a platform that brings teachers and coding professionals together to organize activities for students. SCRIPT is responsible for the organization and financing of the activity.
A workshop organized with the pupils of cycle 4 of the Gellé fundamental school in Luxembourg-Bonnevoie allowed to see how the pupils are initiated in a playful way to the joys of coding.