TCS, Wipro, Infosys join Obama's 'CS for all'
Indian IT giants Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro have joined Obama's ambitious 'computer science for all' initiative. Infosys pledged a $1 million in donation and Tata Consultancy Services would be providing support in the form of grants to teachers. Wipro announced a $2.8 million grant for multi-year project with the Michigan University to empower over a hundred school teachers with basic computer skills.
What is the 'CS for all' plan?
During his State of the Union address, President Obama announced the need for better access to basic computer education. Taking that forward, Obama announced that he requires $4 billion in funding from Congress to increase the number of children who have access to computer science classes in school. The plan encompasses 'CS for Students', 'CS for Educators' and 'CS for Communities and Policy Makers'.
Obama's pitch for computer education
"In the coming years, we should build on that progress, by … offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one." - President Barack Obama in his 2016 State of the Union Address
Why this initiative?
According to the White House, in 2015 there were more than 600,000 tech jobs across the United States that were unfilled. It adds that by 2018, 51% of all Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) jobs will be in computer science-related fields. Obama seeks to increase the number of Americans working in the Information Technology sector, so that US companies can cut back on outsourcing.
Empowering women and minorities
In 2015, girls represented only 22 percent and underrepresented minorities only 13 percent of the approximately 50,000 students who took up courses for IT or software related college placements in the US. 'CS for all' seeks to bridge this gap.
CS for all: The details
The plan seeks $4 billion in funding for states and $100 million directly for training teachers in school districts in the forthcoming budget. In addition, $135 million in Computer Science funding would become available starting this year, from the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National And Community Service. Obama also seeks to involve CEOs, philanthropists and technology companies in the initiative.
Have any corporates signed up for the program?
Apple and Facebook have committed to expand CS education for children with continued investment in training workshops and curriculum development. Cartoon Network has stated that it would launch a $30 million campaign to engage young people in creative coding. Microsoft has announced a $75 million initiative to support CS education. Salesforce.org has announced its plan to invest $13 million in 2016 to support CS.