BRUSSELS, July 29 (Xinhua) -- European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has written a letter to education ministers of EU member states, urging them to ensure that children have the opportunity to develop basic computer coding skills in school, the European Commission said on Tuesday.
The letter, jointly signed by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, states that coding skills are part of the solution to youth unemployment and a growing skills gap in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, which is expected to see a shortage of 900,000 practitioners by the end of 2020.
"Coding cannot just support studies in maths, science, technology and engineering. Coding will also directly help students to develop transversal skills such as analytical thinking, problem solving, team working and creativity. Starting early means that they will be more inclined to consider computer science studies and ICT-related careers," the commissioners wrote.
Vassiliou and Kroes jointly launched the "opening up education" initiative last year to boost innovation and digital skills in schools and universities.