Malaysia has officially launched a programme to teach coding as part of the national school curriculum.

The initiative called #mydigitalmaker was launched yesterday by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

As part of this, computational thinking and computer science will be included in the primary and secondary school curricula from January 2017. This will be led by the Ministry of Education and supported by the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation.

“As 90% of all future jobs will require digital competencies, it is important for us to ensure that our upcoming digital workforce are future-proof and well-equipped to ride this evolution,” said Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of MDEC.

“The focus here is on embedding thinking skills, not IT skills, into our students for them to then apply to problem-solving,” she added, according to Digital News Asia.

MDEC is also working with the private sector and academia to set up digital maker centres in schools and communities. This will allow people to get hands-on experience outside of the formal curriculum. Companies will also offer teaching modules, training and tools through the initiative.

The scheme is estimated to benefit 1.2 million students in 10,173 schools next year.

Image by MDEC