Why do kids need learning to code and its futuristic implications?

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” — Albert Einstein

The term “Coding” is used as a synonym for Computer programming. It develops critical thinking to solve complex issues, nurtures creativity, and polishes skills that drive novelty in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Coding for kids between 7-15 years, though it seems complex, is like learning a whole new language that can be used anywhere. Learning to code is indeed an innovative idea to the education system.

“Low-level programming is good for the programmer’s soul.” — John Carmack

Kids brains are like blank slates where they can write new skills joyfully and learn them with much greater ease than elderly people. Children are like flowers of the family garden who need more sunshine, attention and care of their elders. An encouragement and guiding attitude can do a marvelous job in polishing their abilities.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein

There are many queries in the innocent minds that can hinder them before they even give themselves the chance to begin. Is it for me to learn how to code? Will I be able to solve a computer programming issue? Am I sufficiently suited for accomplishing a project at my age? Questions like these have stopped many to learn new skills. It is the utmost responsibility of the parents and elders to guide them and provide the right opportunity to acquire a new skill, a pre-requisite for growing science in near future too.

“Don’t raise your kids to have more than you had, raise them to be more than you were.” — Anonymous

Firstly, they need to have an appropriate understanding of the technology, then plan and learn, and finally worthy enough to execute it. Though any new task seems quite challenging at a very early age. However, proper learning, and putting the jigsaw-puzzles in the right order can help in achieving small victories.

“If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.”— Ludwig Wittgenstein

There are many online available opportunities to learn to code like coding summer camps and online coding tutorials (Tynker, iD Tech, Kodable, CodeMonkey, code.org etc). Through these resources, kids can navigate the twisty-turns coding landscape through various topics. The interactive fun-loving learning allows kids to progress not with a giant leap, rather a step by step approach, and flawless shift to text languages such as JavaScript and Python. Basic knowledge can influence positively the way kids interact with the technologies in their daily life and can open new horizons for the infinite possibilities of coding. They can develop apps, video games, websites, and much more.

By learning coding skills and following the trends in research, we can prepare the kids to do a pretty good job of predicting advancements in a technology-fueled society and secure their future. It’s also predicted that 65% of children entering the education system today will eventually work at jobs that don’t exist today. In near future, due to robust efficiency and costs, services like fast food ordering, obtaining a driver’s license, picking up a doctor’s prescription etc. would be automated and robotic.

“I think it is inevitable that people program poorly. Training will not substantially help matters. We have to learn to live with it.”
— Alan Perlis

According to the website code.org, computing constitutes 71% of all new STEM jobs, however, only 8% of STEM graduates are in Computer Science. The STEM jobs include green power creator (to fulfill the global needs of energy), Drone technicians, space exploration, 3D printing technology, data managers, biotech engineers, digital enforcers, climate moderators etc. In future, those who possess the coding skill will be more desirable than their peers lacking the skill, for potential college admissions and employment.

In a nutshell, computer science is imperative to the growth of our future. The best way to prepare the children for the future is by creating a strong foundation in STEM and learn other adaptive computer-based skills. Invention-based learning at an early age will enable the kids to gain virtual reality, coding, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence and also prepare them for a quickly evolving job market. Unfortunately, today in Pakistan, computer programming skills are not part of the curriculum. We should reinforce it at a personal and national level for better space-age opportunities. Only in this way, our children will acquire the skills that they need to meet the ultimate demands of our technological future.

“Software is like entropy: It is difficult to grasp, weighs nothing, and obeys the Second Law of Thermodynamics; i.e., it always increases.”
— Norman Augustine

The article has been co-authored by Dr Aitzaz Bin Sultan Rai and Daniyal Bin Aitzaz Rai.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.

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