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Friday, June 21, 2024

Pope Francis Urges Children to Learn Coding in Catholic Countries

A global initiative launched by Miron Mironiuk, a Polish tech entrepreneur and the founder of artificial intelligence company Cosmose AI, has received the endorsement of Pope Francis. Drawing from his own life-altering experience with coding, Mironiuk introduced the “Code with Pope” project with the intention of addressing the educational disparities prevalent worldwide.

The initiative aims to engage Catholic countries through the Pope’s support. According to Mironiuk, “We believe that the involvement of the Pope will encourage them to dedicate time to learning programming for free.”

“Code with Pope” promotes coding education by providing a free online learning platform for students aged 11-15 across Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Upon completing 60 hours of dedicated learning, children will attain a fundamental understanding of Python, one of the world’s most widely used programming languages.

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In today’s digital age, programming skills have become as essential as reading and writing. Data from the World Economic Forum in 2023 reveals that “the majority of the fastest-growing job roles are technology-related.” Nevertheless, a severe global shortage of tech skills threatens to leave 85 million job positions vacant by 2030. Consequently, expanding access to high-quality programming education is now a necessity, especially in low and middle-income countries, many of which are predominantly Catholic.

Poland, with a substantial Catholic population, has seen notable advancements in the tech industry, particularly in artificial intelligence, boasting companies like Google Brain, Cosmose AI, and OpenAI with a significant Polish workforce. Mironiuk is conscious of the disparities in technology opportunities in various countries and hopes this educational program can contribute to change.

The program will be available in Spanish, English, Italian, and Polish, and it is expected to benefit children in South America (excluding Brazil) and English-speaking nations in Africa and Southeast Asia.

This is not the first instance of the Pope’s encouragement for young people to explore coding, as he previously participated in writing a line of code for a UN initiative in 2019. Mironiuk is scheduled to meet the Pope at the Vatican, although he doesn’t anticipate the Pontiff to master Python. Nonetheless, the Pope will receive a certificate in recognition of his contribution to initiating the program.

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