Ninety-five per cent of the applicants are applying to study rather than be trainers
First week of UAE's 'One Million Arab Coders' initiative draws 500,000 global applications
More than half a million people from 22 countries around the world have applied to participate in the "One Million Arab Coders" initiative.
Launched last month by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, the initiative seeks to train a million young people in coding techniques to empower Arab youth and arm them with tools to succeed in the age of technology.
Ninety-five per cent of the applicants are applying to study rather than be trainers, and who want to add technology and coding skills to their education. The largest proportion of applicants came from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Syria, and Iraq.
"This overwhelming response in the first week alone shows how timely and necessary this initiative is, and demonstrates the eagerness of our region’s young people to take on advanced technology skills," said Abdullah Bin Touq, acting chief executive of the Dubai Future Foundation.
The initiative consists of three phases to be completed over two years. The first phase includes enrolment of Arab students and tutors from across the world. Participants can begin free education training, and receive a certificate at the end of each course.
In the second phase, the top 1,000 students will be selected through the "Coders Challenge", and they will be able to enrol in, and receive, more advanced courses, scholarships and vocational courses for professionals.
In the third stage, the top 10 coders are chosen. The first-place winner will receive an award of US$1 million, while the remaining nine will receive $50,000 each. The top four tutors will receive $50,000 each.
The project comes at a time when the UAE Government, education authorities and public and private schools are pursuing a major push in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects, seen as crucial to the post-oil knowledge economy.