Oracle goes back to school with $200m boost for US computer education

Oracle has stepped up its support of the Obama administration's $4bn plan to improve computer-science education for K-12 students in the US.

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Oracle expects to involve over 232,000 students in more than 1,100 US educational institutions.

Image: iStock

Enterprise computing giant Oracle has announced a $200m commitment of direct and in-kind support for US computer-science education over the next 18 months.

The new commitment supports the US administration's Computer Science for All initiative, announced by President Obama in January, which calls for $4bn in funding under a five-year plan to improve the quality of computer science educational resources for students from kindergarten to 12th grade across the US.

Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Code.org have been among the first tech firms to announce support for the initiative.

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Oracle's philanthropic educational program, Oracle Academy, is spearheading the company's new contribution, which it expects to reach over 232,000 students in over 1,100 US educational institutions.

It's a significant step-up from Oracle's original commitment, when Oracle Academy and Destination Imagination expected to engage 10,000 computer science students in 2016.

Google has already committed $23m to the initiative, while Microsoft has promised a 50-state campaign to expand computer science.

Oracle said it aims to double the number of US teachers who go through Oracle Academy training in the 2016-17 academic year.

It also plans to provide free Oracle software licenses for numerous products and will commit $3m to non-profit organizations that focus on encouraging young girls and underrepresented students in pursuing STEM and CS degrees.

The company notes that in 2015 just two percent of students who went through College Board's AP tertiary preparation program had enrolled in computer science, and of those only 22 percent were female.

Oracle's announcement coincides with Obama's 6th and final White House Science Fair on Wednesday, which will showcase an impressive line-up of technology and innovation developed by K-12 students, spanning robotics, software, biometrics, hardware and rockets.

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