Youth in Qatar will have the opportunity to learn and further enhance their skills in developing mobile applications (apps) at a ‘YouthMobile Coding’ workshop scheduled next month, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has announced.
“We think that providing the youth with these skills can help in several levels. First one is providing employment and full string entrepreneurship,” Unesco Doha Office senior programme assistant Marion Desmurger told a recent press briefing.
She said the initiative, set to take place in Doha on April 5 and 6, also aims to raise awareness on the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) in helping the community to solve some of the local issues on sustainable development.
In Qatar, Desmurger noted that all ministries are trying to push for such programmes, which will foster youth creativity and entrepreneurship as a way to diversify the country’s economy.
“I believe that in five to 10 years, one major skill that every employer expects from people to have is coding, because it is something becoming very important,” she pointed out. “Developing apps is becoming a 21st century skill.”
Desmurger stressed that they want youths not just to develop any type of mobile apps but those that contribute to solving problems in the community.
“The idea is to lead this to the sustainable development goals, so the local issues whether for example about climate change, or measuring the carbon footprinting in the house,” she explained.
Unesco Doha Office is also planning to hold a workshop on coding soon, in partnership with Lycee Voltaire French school and Qatar Computing and Research Institute in Doha, aimed at expanding its YouthMobile project in Qatar.
Desmurger highlighted ICT’s positive impact on people with disabilities (PWDs), described as ‘open and inclusive solutions’ that helps in accessing PWD-friendly locations across the country.
Dubbed as ‘Accessible Qatar’, the app was developed by SASOL in co-operation with various PWD institutions such as the Deaf and Blind Society in Qatar, and Qatar Foundation, among others.
“It is actually viewing all the venues across Qatar to see if they are accessible to PWDs whether it is about vision or for other impairments, in a wheelchair, etc, and we are encouraging PWDs to review it,” the Unesco official said.
She added that they are also working on a next project, titled ‘Memory of the World’, which focuses on protecting documentary heritage.
While the project falls under their cultural programme, Desmurger noted that it also covers access to information. Developed by Unesco, it aims to protect documents that are considered to be of universal value.
“We are working with Qatar institutions such as the Qatar National Library and the Ministry of Culture and Sports to make sure that valuable heritage that exist here, whether it is from Qatar or telling a story about the rest of the world, is highlighted at the international level,” she added.
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