In an era where we are surrounded by technology and computing devices, from our homes to workplaces, it has become indispensable to be acquainted with them at the earliest, considering every second job is an IT job.
To begin with, umpteen number of developed countries have already made coding a part of their elementary school education. England, one of the pioneers of this move in the European Union has directed computer science classes for all the children in the age bracket of 5-16. Their syllabus includes learning programming languages like Java, learning how to debug code and learning algorithms. The idea is not only to make them digitally literate but also to put a thought in their minds of the potential and power of these new technologies.
Now to specifically talk about the computer science syllabus in the primary and secondary schools of Kashmir region, where we don’t move beyond learning how to start a computer, learning how to make right and left clicks of the mouse, learning Microsoft Office. The nub of the problem is that we don’t give our young minds a chance to think, which is exactly what coding does, it generates ideas in kids. It creates logic, computational thinking and critical thinking, which is what drives the future. Coding is not only an add-on skill but it breeds minds who become pioneers and innovators of new technologies.
To pick on the Java language which is taught in the primary schools in England, I don’t hesitate in saying that being a Postgraduate pass out, had it at the university level syllabus. Precisely, this is where we are behind the developed part of the world where programming languages are invented and we people end up being their users. Also, pertinent to say from my experiences that we end up being unemployed by learning skills from the highest level of educational sources (i.e., Colleges and Universities) which have become obsolete and not in demand in the industries. So, unless we don’t make computer science classes mandatory where coding skills are imparted at the grassroots level which essentially makes kids ready for future jobs, we will continue to end up being the followers of the coming technologies and won’t give birth to the minds who would drive the future for us through entrepreneurship.
To end with, I would quote Shakespeare, who famously said, “Children must be taught how to think and not what to think”.
The author is doing MCA from Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora