It is critical that computer science, and coding specifically, are added to the Irish school curriculum, says the head of Google’s education outreach in Ireland.

“Education is on our DNA as a company,” says Fionnuala Meehan, who by day is managing director of Google EMEA sales (SMB) heading up a 500-strong workforce, but in her personal time is a passionate advocate of getting more kids to code.

In Ireland, Meehan spearheads Google’s education outreach programmes, including CS (computer science) CS (computer science) First, which aims at equip teachers with the skills to teach coding to 9-to-14-year-olds.

“Our ultimate goal is to increase teacher capability through exposure to computer science so they can better teach STEM subjects to future generations.

“Having social encouragement, realizing you are good with these skills and having coding in the curriculum is critical.

“Although policy is the preserve of government, having computer science on the Leaving Cert curriculum will help with skills and the perception and exposure among the female population to opportunities in technology,” Meehan said.

Words by John Kennedy