CodeClub Australia announces merger with Raspberry Pi Foundation

codeclub pi mergerCodeClub has announced that it is merging with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Code Club is a worldwide network of volunteer-led coding clubs for children aged 9 to 11 which has been doing some great work locally as CodeClub Australia. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK charity founded in 2009 to promote the study of basic computer science in schools, and is responsible for developing the Raspberry Pi.

Now it must be said that longtime readers will know I’m not exactly the greatest fan of the Raspberry Pi board; but in contrast, I am a fan of the Foundation and even more so of CodeClub. This does seem like a good mix. CodeClub gives the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and it’s board, a whole community that has been very successful in getting into schools. CodeClub presumably gets access to much-needed resources and an obvious platform for electronics. Certainly the two organisations share a common core vision, driven by the lamentable failure of Government, as covered in the announcement of the merger:

Raspberry Pi Foundation and Code Club were both created as responses to the collective failure to prepare young people for life and work in a world that is shaped by digital technologies.

My hope is that CodeClub, which will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Foundation won’t get too focused on the Raspberry Pi computer. It’d be much better if the Foundation used this an opportunity to move away from the focus on a particular piece of hardware. Certainly, the initial announcement is saying the right things:

For Raspberry Pi Foundation, this is an important step in diversifying our educational programmes. Of course, a lot of our work focuses on the Raspberry Pi computer as a tool for education (and it always will), but our mission and activities are much broader than that, and many of our programmes, like Code Club, are designed to be platform-neutral.

I suppose this sort of process is inevitable. From ground-zero a number of initiatives have sprung up and evolved to meet a gap in the educational needs of kids. Now as the organisations mature, and more people recognise the problem, there will be a rationalisation of efforts and organisations. The missing piece, in Australia at least, remains coordinated activity from the Federal and State governments.

The merger of CodeClub and the Foundation has the potential to make both organisations stronger and more sustainable and that’s a good thing for everyone.

Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation

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