Marking a landmark collaboration between Apple, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), and three educational institutions – the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), RMIT Online and Pathlight School, digital literacy is front and centre in education policy for Singaporeans of all ages and backgrounds.
This involves the promulgation of Swift app development courses to institutes of Higher Learning (IHL), beginning with SUTD, RMIT and the Pathlight School.
Held at the ArtScience Museum this morning (13th March 2019), Minister of Education Ong Ye Kung marked this significant event by highlighting ongoing efforts throughout the education system to encourage digital literacy across the board.
School-going students receive greater support through through curriculum, co-curricular activities (CCA) and administrative developments. Initiatives like the Code for Fun programme, added support for Infocomm-related CCAs, cashless e-payments via wearables, and even e-examinations.
IHL have also seen unprecedented upticks in enrollment into Infocomm Technology courses. There are plans to expand course catalogues to include fintech and other new applications.
With SkillsFuture subsidies, adults from beginners to specialists are incentivised to pick up additional digital skills to maintain their relevance in the workplace.
Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple expressed her admiration for Singapore’s committments toward lifelong learning. She then similarly highlighted the importance of coding as the “language of the future” – the reason why Apple developed the accessible and easily-acquired Swift programming language, which has since been used on ultra-successful apps like Airbnb, VSCO and LinkedIn.
Supported by SkillsFuture Singapore, SUTD and RMIT Online have launched app development courses using Apple’s App Development with Swift curriculum for adult learners. Pathlight School, which specialises in educating high-functioning children with autism, has built upon the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA)-supported Swift Accelerator programme for a tailor-made curriculum for its secondary students.
SUTD, on conjunction with SkillsFuture Singapore, targets adult learners keen on gaining fundamental key competencies in app design and development with their Swift development curriculum, which includes an AR Module.
RMIT Online instead targets mid-career professionals with hectic schedules, offering a fully-online, self-paced programme that culminates in a submission of an app for the final project.
For students aged 13 to 18 at Pathlight School, the 144-hour Swift Accelerator programme, which is conducted by Apple Certified Trainers narrows in on students with special needs. Ms Denise Phua, Member of Parliament, Mayor of Central Singapore, president of the Autism Resource Centre and cofounder of the Pathlight School, stressed the importance of inclusivity and commended Apple for its “soul” for social causes. Furthermore, she emphasised importance to futureproof special needs individuals by granting access to the “app economy” through digital literacy.
Ms Honor Harger, Executive Director at ArtScience museum, called to attention the common goal of merging arts and science in education shared amongst the parties involved. Values of connection and creativity are key in creating a better tomorrow, and are possible with the inclusion and support of digital literacy to engage more people from diverse backgrounds.
What it means for you
If you’re a Singapore Citizen, you might be eligible for SkillsFuture credits to subsidise coding courses with partner schools like SUTD and RMIT Online. No matter your background – whether you are a CTO or a chef – Swift language courses are designed to add to your list of competencies.
Citizen or not, free resources are available through Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative. Interested individuals can download Swift Playgrounds to explore the language, and access the e-books and course materials on the Everyone Can Code website.