Central Singapore CDC partners UOB to help 1,500 children pick up new digital skills through My Digital Bootcamp
1,500 students from lower-income families in Central Singapore District will pick up new digital skills at the third edition of 'My Digital Bootcamp', sponsored by UOB. The district-wide programme will help level the playing field for children from disadvantaged backgrounds who may not have access to extra-curricular education. This is part of Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC)'s SkillsFuture Junior movement, which aims to equip its young residents with digital and soft skills to be future-ready.
At each two-day Bootcamp held from May to December 2023, students will go through four modular skills-based workshops to learn advanced digital-making skills, such as robotics, mobile app development, game design and programming, in a fun and engaging manner. Participants can choose from two new immersive narratives: visit ancient civilisations as a space-time traveller or defuse a climate crisis as a hero of Earth (more information in Annex C). During the Bootcamp, they will also be exposed to complementary soft skills such as logical reasoning, pattern recognition, algorithm design, relationship management and communication skills, among others.
'My Digital Bootcamp' will provide the young participants with structured learning support to encourage learning beyond the workshops. Each child will bring home a special home-based learning (HBL) digital-making kit (more information in Annex D) comprising a micro:bit pocket-sized computer, a KittenBot expansion board, an ultrasonic sensor and other resource materials, complete with a learning management system, so they may continue learning and practising what they have learnt from the Bootcamp at home.
New Hackathon Component
A brand-new Hackathon component will be held at the end of this season where the young learners are empowered to solve real life scenario-based challenges in friendly competitions that undergird holistic learning. The Hackathon will involve 300 participants comprising students that attended the Bootcamps as well as new students.
In the two-day Hackathon challenge, participants will partake in digital-making skills workshops or refresher, preparatory workshops, competition and presentation. They will explore skillsets and develop competencies in soft skills beyond those taught in the Bootcamp including idea pitching, design thinking and ideation, that can help provide them a sturdy foundation for the future economy.
Strong Partnership between UOB and Central Singapore CDC
'My Digital Bootcamp' was made possible through Central Singapore CDC's longstanding partnership with UOB.
A steadfast supporter since the programme's inception in 2019, UOB has donated $1.5 million across three seasons of 'My Digital Bootcamp', with $500,000 attributed to Season 3. The funds contributed this year was from UOB Commercial Banking's annual Lunar New Year festive celebrations in 2022 that raised almost $1.9 million for charity, in partnership with the Bank's clients.
More than 2,000 children from 34 schools and community organisations in Central Singapore have benefitted from the past two seasons of the programme since its launch in September 2019. Over 30 employee volunteers from UOB also befriended the students, distributed participation kits and meals, and helped to guide the students through their learning.
'My Digital Bootcamp' Season 3 kicked off at Cairnhill Community Club today with a cheque presentation ceremony, attended by Guest-of-Honour Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister, Prime Minister's Office & Second Minister for Finance & Second Minister for National Development, Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District, and Mr Eric Lian, UOB's Head of Group Commercial Banking.
Close to 100 upper primary school students, aged 10 to 12, will be attending 8 workshops held concurrently at the event. They will learn to create digital products and bring home digital-making kits to continue learning at their own convenience.
Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister, Prime Minister's Office & Second Minister for Finance & Second Minister for National Development, said: "We want all our children to be future-ready. Some children have greater access to resources to acquire the skills for the future than others. My Digital Bootcamp bridges that gap and ensures that children can have access to digital skills irrespective of background. We also hope that these workshops will spark the spirit of innovation and creativity in these children and give them a positive experience with technology, so that they will see it as an enabler and not as a barrier."
Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore CDC, said: "I am thankful for corporates like UOB who give so generously to benefit communities and those in need. As technology constantly evolves, it is extremely important that the future generations of Singapore's workforce are equipped with digital skills. Programmes like My Digital Bootcamp will help level the playing field for those from disadvantaged backgrounds who may not have as much access to such extra-curricular education. I sincerely encourage all businesses to follow in the stead of UOB, not just to do well, but to do good for our communities and residents."
Mr Eric Lian, Head of Group Commercial Banking, UOB, said: "UOB is proud to support initiatives that positively impact our community. We are honoured to contribute towards My Digital Bootcamp, a programme which will help develop the young minds and build their confidence to thrive in an increasingly digital world. It is a testament to UOB's promise to do right by our community and our commitment to invest in the future of our youth while challenging them to push the boundaries of possibilities."
My Digital Bootcamp is one of 52 programme offerings under Central Singapore CDC that aims to better support its residents in their journey of lifelong learning. Interested primary schools with and community organisations serving children from lower-income families in Central Singapore District can write to [email protected].