KPN and FutureNL teach children to program with the School of Code


As the new partner of FutureNL, KPN will this year teach 50 school classes of group 7 and 8 pupils to program with the School of Code. In the year ahead, pupils – most of them at schools in Amsterdam – will go by bus to the KPN office at Teleportboulevard in Amsterdam to learn coding, programming and hacking. With the help of teaching material provided by FutureNL.

Digital skills are a way of thinking

Bouke Hoving, KPN CIO and Director Networks and IT, and the winner of the CIO of the Year Award 2017, hopes to show by means of the new partnership that digital skills are indispensable and a lot of fun as well: "The online world is growing rapidly and so is the demand for programmers. So, we at KPN believe that all children in the Netherlands ought to become acquainted with programming and coding. That isn’t just writing a code, it’s also a way of thinking. In our knowledge economy it is crucially important for children to develop digital skills at an early age, so they can better understand the world of today and tomorrow. During the lessons the kids will learn skills that they will benefit from later in their working life."

Playing catch-up in Dutch education

Ronilla Snellen, managing director of FutureNL, is extremely enthusiastic about the new partnership. "I’m very happy that companies like KPN want to invest in education. As far as digital literacy is concerned the Netherlands needs to catch up with other countries. It also makes children very creative. They really enjoy hacking the digiboard, for example. In addition, all the 50 classes taking part get the chance to attend a Minecraft event in the Amsterdam Arena on June 23 within the framework of We Make the City. At that event a total of 500 children with 500 laptops on the center spot of the Arena will help to redevelop Amsterdam Zuidoost using Minecraft: another very good reason for taking part in the School of Code."

About School of Code

Once a month, on a Friday, KPN invites groups 7/8 from a number of primary schools for the School of Code. A class may be placed on either the morning or the afternoon program. A team of coaches from KPN welcomes the children and then introduces them to the boundless possibilities of the online world, using the “digi-klooikoffer” (digital DIY toolbox) with the micro:bit, an initiative of FutureNL. The lesson takes around two and a half hours and by the end of it everyone has made something. As well as the School of Code the schoolchildren get a comprehensive information package from FutureNL to be able to follow up what they have learnt.

Dates of the School of Code

The first school from which two classes took part was De Kleine Reus in Amsterdam. The next School of Code lessons are scheduled for April 6, May 18, June 22, July 6, September 28, October 12, November 9 and December 7.

About Future NL

Stichting FutureNL believes that all children in the Netherlands now need to develop digital skills to be able to function optimally in a digital world. We can see a gap between the demand from society and the supply available in the Dutch education system. To be able to retain our competitive position as a knowledge economy it is crucially important for children in the Netherlands to develop digital skills.