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Let’s Code Thailand Launched at 2022 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week

A public-private initiative to provide coding skills opportunities to 1,000 students in Thailand 

Bangkok, November 21, 2022 — The recent 2022 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week announced Let’s Code Thailand, a joint initiative between APEC Thailand 2022; the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation of Thailand; The Asia Foundation; Digital Makers Asia Pacific; and Google. At the official launch, representatives from each organization engaged with more than 100 youth leaders of APEC’s youth program, Voices of the Future. A pilot project from Thailand as the host economy, Let’s Code Thailand will provide coding skills opportunities to 1,000 Thai students. The project is also a model for public-private partnerships and collaborations for digital upskilling, a critical step for growing a more inclusive digital economy.

Let’s Code Thailand will be based on e-learning and self-study, with an intensive mentorship program.  The project will strengthen the capacity of local software associations and developer organizations to conduct mentorship programs, local skilling initiatives, and recruitment activities that engage underserved communities. Finally, the initiative will provide lessons for engaging the local developers’ community in addressing skills gap challenges. These lessons will be shared across APEC networks and inform potential phases of Let’s Code across the region.

Let’s Code Thailand was launched with the presence of H.E. Thani Thongphakdi (APEC 2022 SOM Chair), the Program Management Unit for Human Resources & Institutional Development, Research and Innovation (PMU-B), Digital Makers Asia Pacific, the Thai Programmers Association, Khon Khaen University, youth leaders from APEC Voices of the Future, and Google. (Photo: The Asia Foundation)

Chair of the APEC 2022 Senior Officials’ Meeting Mr. Thani Thongphakdi opened the launch of Let’s Code Thailand, remarking on the importance of coding as “an essential skill in the new digital economy.” Additionally, he highlighted the public-private partnership model as a crucial component for the success of this project.

Dr. Sompong Klaynongsruang, director of the Program Management Unit for Human Resources & Institutional Development, Research and Innovation (PMU-B), acknowledged that “one of the priorities for PMU-B is that our youth are highly qualified and competitive in a changing global environment. This is why we welcome Let’s Code Thailand, as it proves that the public and private sectors can collaborate to expand opportunities for our future leaders and shapers of new technologies.”

“Google is pleased to support the Let’s Code Thailand initiative to provide underserved students in rural areas of Thailand with the opportunity to learn coding skills through training and mentorship, working with local industry and partners,” Michaela Browning, vice president for Government Affairs & Public Policy, Google Asia Pacific said. “Investing in the skills of the future like computer science opens up possibilities for every student and will provide them with the tools to help them succeed in a digitalized economy.”

Sandra Oveissi, Issaret Prachitmutita, and Ethan Kang, members of DMAP, speak on Let’s Code Thailand. (Photo: The Asia Foundation)

Let’s Code Thailand is an initiative co-designed by Digital Makers Asia Pacific (DMAP), a network of software developers across the region who have participated in the APEC App Challenge, an annual initiative supported by The Asia Foundation and Google. “One of our goals for this project is to expand the economic opportunities that technology affords to communities that may not otherwise have access to them,” said Thomas Parks, The Asia Foundation’s representative for Thailand.

Let’s Code Thailand will focus on four levels of learners: beginner (elementary school students and/or general people who have no coding knowledge), pre-intermediate (high school and university students with some basic coding knowledge), intermediate (high school and university students with good understanding of coding), and advanced (university students who aim to pursue their careers in coding).

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region is focused on good governance, women’s empowerment and gender equality, inclusive economic growth, environment, and climate action, and regional and international relations.

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Related locations: Thailand
Related programs: Technology & Development

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