News / USA

    Obama Stresses Need for 'Computer Science for All'

    FILE - President Barack Obama holds up an Apple iPad during a visit to Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Maryland, Feb. 4, 2014.
    FILE - President Barack Obama holds up an Apple iPad during a visit to Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Maryland, Feb. 4, 2014.
    VOA News

    President Barack Obama on Saturday discussed his plan to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science in school.

    In his weekly address, Obama noted that with the rapid shifts in the U.S. economy, knowledge of computer science has become a new "basic skill, right along with the three R's," necessary for economic achievement.

    "Today’s auto mechanics aren’t just sliding under cars to change the oil; they’re working on machines that run on as many as 100 million lines of code. That’s 100 times more than the space shuttle," the president said. "Nurses are analyzing data and managing electronic health records. Machinists are writing computer programs. And workers of all kinds need to be able to figure out how to break a big problem into smaller pieces and identify the right steps to solve it."

    The president said that 90 percent of parents want computer science taught at their children’s schools. "Yet right now, only about a quarter of our K-12 schools offer computer science. Twenty-two states don’t even allow it to count toward a diploma."

    Obama then emphasized the need for his Computer Science for All Initiative, which would provide $4 billion in funding for states and $100 million directly for districts in his upcoming budget, and would invest more than $135 million beginning this year through the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service to support and train computer science teachers.

    The goal of the initiative, he said, is to give "every student in America an early start at learning the skills they’ll need to get ahead in the new economy," and he said he would be calling on "governors, mayors, business leaders and tech entrepreneurs to join the growing bipartisan movement around this cause."

    Americans must all do their part "to make sure all our young people can compete in a high-tech, global economy," Obama said. "They’re the ones who will make sure America keeps growing, keeps innovating and keeps leading the world in the years ahead.  And they’re the reason I’ve never been more confident about our future."

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: annymous from: usa
    January 31, 2016 12:42 PM
    when the students can read and write? most the students in public school especially in New York city can not read proper English. their math skill is extremely poor . many teachers can not solve fraction problem. now Mr. Obama is taking about computer science . is Mr. president live in our planet ?before Mr. president want them to learn Computer science , teach them how to read and write!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by: Ricardo from: Brazil
    January 31, 2016 7:36 AM
    Congratulations President Obama! You are absolutely right. No country in the world can become developed without being prepared in tecnology. Measures such as this makes the US a global superpower.
    In Response

    by: Ricardo from: Brazil
    February 01, 2016 6:42 AM
    Dear Mr. meanbill from: USA
    Problems in the education system affect many countries, I know. However, I applaud President Obama's effort. The United States lost their basic industries to many countries in Asia. It needs to keep high-tech industries in the country to avoid unemployment. I consider all measures to preserve employment should be welcome.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    January 31, 2016 8:39 AM
    Hey Ricardo _ The US has a really big problem teaching a lot of students just to read and write, [and now], the president thinks that giving them computers will teach them to read and write instead of just playing games on them? .. America has spent trillions of dollars since the 1960s to improve the education system so students can learn to read and write? .. and now? .. Over 60% of high school students in Washington DC couldn't point out were Washington DC was on a US map? .. is that why Obama wants to give them computers? .. so they can locate the city that they live in, on a US map? .. just thinking?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora