Aramco Korea and Seoul City tackle digital divide in education

(From left) Neung-in Jang, Standing Director of MIDAM, Seoul Mayor, Se-hoon Oh, Mutib A. Al-Harbi, Representative Director of Aramco Korea pictured at ‘Seoul Learn X Aramco Coding School’ partnership agreement ceremony at Seoul City Hall.

• 'Seoul Learn X Aramco Coding School' targets underprivileged school students in Seoul
• Drones and 3D printers help participants gain in-depth coding education
• National competitions to boost students' interest and confidence in coding

Aramco Korea, a fully-owned subsidiary of Aramco, a leading globally-integrated energy and chemicals company, today signed an agreement with Seoul Metropolitan Government and the MIDAM Scholarship Foundation (MIDAM) to support the 'Seoul Learn X Aramco Coding School', a computer programming course that teaches coding to underprivileged elementary and middle school students in Seoul.

The signing ceremony, held at Seoul City Hall, was attended by senior officials including Mutib A. Al-Harbi, Representative Director of Aramco Korea; Se-hoon Oh, Seoul Mayor; and Neung-in Jang, Standing Director of MIDAM.

Aramco Coding School is a corporate citizenship program that Aramco Korea supports for less privileged students in Ulsan and Daejeon. The program has been in operation since 2020 in partnership with MIDAM, UNIST, and KAIST, and aims to narrow the digital divide in education among students. This year, the in-depth coding education will be scaled to students in Seoul through Seoul Learn, an online education platform for disadvantaged students operated by Seoul Metropolitan Government.

Participating students will take 20 computer programming classes, including Xcode·Android Studio application building and Swift framework-based application development. Based on these lessons, students will receive instructions on developing their own computer applications using 3D printers, tablet PCs, and drones.

The curriculum is designed to not only show how coding is used as a means of programming computers, but also incorporating topics such as climate change and environmental protection. This gives students the opportunity to build on capabilities that will eventually have a positive influence on their daily lives and even the global community. This STEM education program is a testament to Aramco's worldwide commitment to empowering people and protecting the environment in communities where it operates.

Aramco Korea also plans to hold the “Aramco Coding Hackathon” and “Aramco Coding World Cup,”  national coding competitions for students nationwide, to boost interest and confidence in coding.

Mutib A. Al-Harbi, Aramco Korea's Representative Director said: “The philosophy of Mayor Se-hoon Oh, who values social inclusion of disadvantaged individuals, resonates with Aramco's corporate citizenship strategy of using its resources with a sense of purpose for the local community. In a situation where the digital education gap among students is widening due to factors such as COVID-19, we hope that this partnership with the Seoul Metropolitan Government will serve as a catalyst for students to grow into future talents.”

Seoul Mayor, Se-hoon Oh stated: “Through Seoul Learn X Aramco Coding School, we hope students from vulnerable situations to be provided with quality educational opportunities and grow into future creative talents. We believe that the promise of educational cooperation between the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Aramco Korea, and MIDAM will make a difference in each student's life, and furthermore, the changes in individual lives will eventually lead to a dynamic economic renaissance and cultural enrichment in Seoul.”

Neung-in Jang, Standing Director of MIDAM added: “I would like to express my gratitude to the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Aramco Korea for their efforts to protect the right to be educated regardless of economic conditions. The city's administrative effort for social inclusion, Aramco Korea's citizenship, which supports the development of talents in the local community with a global perspective, and the enthusiasm of MIDAM, which shares warmth with the society, will set the education ladder for students in need.”

Aramco, the majority shareholder of S-OIL and the second-largest shareholder of Hyundai Oilbank, established Aramco Korea in 2012 to serve as a reliable energy supplier to Korea and to promote mutually beneficial business and technology partnerships with major Korean companies.Aramco Korea provides a wide range of educational and environmental awareness citizenship programs. These programs include: offering merit-based scholarships for university students with disabilities; supporting the installation of solar power generation systems at welfare facilities and fine dust precaution programs.

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