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Every American should learn to code, says Obama

President Barack Obama wants every American to focus on coding. Kicking off Computer Science Education Week on Monday, Obama said in a YouTube video: “Don’t just buy a new video game — make one. Don’t just download the latest app — help design it. Don’t just play on your phone — program it.”

Organised by Code.org, the annual event is aimed at promoting computer programming education worldwide.

This year’s Computer Science Education Week is focusing on a new “Hour of Code” initiative to give students a taste of coding with an hour-long program. It helps students with self-guided material to be used on tablets, mobile devices, and computers.

“Learning these skills isn’t just important for your future — it’s important for America’s future,” Obama added in his video statement.

With five million students across 33,000 classrooms worldwide signed up and more than 100 partners including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Disney supporting the initiative, the technology world has demonstrated support for the Hour of Code in more ways than one.

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“Although only 10 percent of schools teach computer science classes, even one hour of exposure can be enough to change a student’s life, as it did mine.” Code.org founder Hadi Partovi said. “In the 21st century, this isn’t just a course you study to get a job in software – it’s important to learn even if you want to be a nurse, a journalist, an accountant, a lawyer or even a president.”

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