It’s future imperative

Why computer science should be taught as a compulsory subject in Kashmir schools?
It is worth noting that this is not exclusive to schools with lower standards as even some of Kashmir’s “Elite” schools are also failing to provide a robust computer science education. [Representational Image]
It is worth noting that this is not exclusive to schools with lower standards as even some of Kashmir’s “Elite” schools are also failing to provide a robust computer science education. [Representational Image] Flickr [Creative Commons]

Computer Science is an ever-evolving field that is shaping the world we live in. Artificial intelligence, in particular, is transforming various industries, from healthcare to finance, transportation, and beyond.

However, in Kashmir, there seems to be a trend towards medical studies and other subjects, with computer science being taught as a dedicated subject, not as a mandatory one. As such, Kashmiri students are missing out on a multitude of opportunities that could potentially have a significant impact on their futures.

The world is rapidly becoming more digitised, and the demand for individuals with computer science skills is increasing. With advancements in technology, it has become possible to automate tasks that were previously done manually, making certain jobs redundant.

However, this shift also creates new opportunities for individuals with the right skill set. As a Software Engineer, I was first introduced to coding and programming in my first year of college. However, I found that many of my classmates from other parts of the country had already been exposed to coding and programming in their schools, putting them ahead of me in the race.

During my time in school, I also had a Computer Science class, although it was only held on alternate days. Unfortunately, the curriculum mainly focused on basic tools like Microsoft Paint and Word.

This scenario is not unique to my school, as the majority of schools in Kashmir continue to offer a similar curriculum even today.

It is worth noting that this is not exclusive to schools with lower standards as even some of Kashmir’s “Elite” schools are failing to provide a robust computer science education.

I often reflect on how I could have been a better software engineer today if I had been exposed to coding and programming languages earlier in my career.

Moreover, computer science is not just about technology and programming. It is also about problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. By learning computer science, students develop skills that can be applied to a variety of other fields.

For example, programming teaches students to think logically, break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts, and come up with innovative solutions. These skills are transferable and can be applied in a variety of industries, from finance to healthcare and beyond.

The decision to not offer computer science as a complete subject in Kashmir schools not only limits the career opportunities available to students, but it also hinders our ability to identify the interests and potential of many students who could otherwise become excellent software engineers in the future.

While it is possible that Kashmir’s “elite” schools may develop a more comprehensive computer science education system in the near future, the majority of students attending government and non-elite private schools will likely be left behind.

As a result, the only viable solution is to make computer science a compulsory subject for all students, regardless of their school’s status.

Our society has been moulded in such a way that students tend to lean towards medical studies and other fields.

However, it is important to ask ourselves why there is so much hype surrounding admission to medical colleges and civil services while other fields are often overlooked.

By not asking these questions, we may inadvertently contribute to the production of a generation that lacks essential skills needed for a dynamic workforce.

Once students complete their schooling, they are faced with the decision of choosing a career path. For those who aspire to pursue a career in Computer Science Engineering but were unable to clear highly competitive exams such as JEE mains/Advance, they are left with two options - either enrol in a local engineering college or one located in another part of the country.

The local engineering colleges in the Kashmir do not provide adequate support for job placement, and the situation is exacerbated by the limited presence of private sector companies in the valley, which creates difficulties for students.

The students who decide to study outside face obstacles which are exacerbated by the presence of the “consultancy mafia.” This network of consultancies operating in Kashmir has been known to manipulate the careers of many students by redirecting them to colleges outside Kashmir that lack adequate resources and opportunities.

This can be a devastating setback for students who are eager to pursue their dreams of becoming software engineers.

For students who dream of becoming software engineers but are unable to secure admission to prestigious Tier-1 colleges, it may seem like the end of the road when they end up in Tier-3 colleges.

However, it is important to realise that there are other avenues to success. With the growth of Indian edu-tech in recent years, there is a wealth of quality content available on the internet, especially on platforms like Youtube. Students can take advantage of this and augment their knowledge and skills.

There are inspiring stories of students from Tier-3 colleges who have made it to top product-based companies, offering lucrative packages. Therefore, it is essential for such students to persevere, work hard, and seek out opportunities to achieve their goals. They should not let the college they attend limit their aspirations and should strive to be the best in their field

Software engineering is currently one of the highest paying job fields in the world.The FAANG ( Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) companies along with the startups and MNC’s offer whooping salary packages. 

With the Covid-19 pandemic ushering in a new era of remote work, there has never been a better time to pursue a career in this field. Given the increasing demand for computer science skills and the abundant career opportunities it is offering, it is essential that students in Kashmir are exposed to this subject at the early age.

By making computer science a mandatory subject, Kashmiri students will not only be able to keep up with the ever-changing world of technology but will also be able to explore various career options in the field of computer science.

In conclusion, computer science should be taught as a mandatory subject in Kashmiri schools. It is a crucial area of study that is shaping the world we live in, and students who are not exposed to it may be left behind in the job market.

By teaching computer science, students can develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, learn about the potential of AI, and explore various career options. This will not only benefit them as individuals but also help contribute to the development of a technologically advanced society in Kashmir.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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