The World Economic Forum ‘s Future of Jobs Report has forecasted that 65 per cent of children entering primary school today will eventually wind up working in entirely new types of jobs that do not yet occur. The world is changing at such a rapid pace that today’s high-paid jobs didn’t even exist five years ago-and it’s hard to predict what kind of jobs we ‘re going to do in another five years. The reason for that big shift? It is rise of Software industry.
The question here is how we prepare our children for the future, there’s only one solution to this situation: Learning to code. Both parents and teachers believe that programming is a well-structured way of introducing children to logical thinking and problem-solving in a country like India, where the education system struggles with a lack of vision, facilities and outdated curriculum. This also trains them for a data-science and computer science driven job market.
Fewer than 10 percent of schools taught mathematics before the Industrial Revolution, each school introduced mathematics after the turning point, because that was the centre of the revolution. For us now, coding skills are what mathematics was to the Industrial Revolution: underestimated at the time, but extremely valuable generations later.
Now we’re in the middle of the computer revolution, and it’s the same concept: schools need to recognize the benefits of coding as a skill. For Chinese parents, teaching children code is just as important as teaching them math and Chinese. Indeed, even before they enter pre-school many Chinese kids are vulnerable to coding. A lot of Indian parents now also teach pre-school coding to children. A huge number of coding and programming centres in New Delhi, Mumbai, Gurgaon, and Chandigarh serve these needs in India.
Almost all of these places use a shared pool of tools and technologies — such as Code Studio, LightBot, Botley, or MIT’s Scratch — created for a foreign market where coding teaching is already a flourishing industry for children. The aim is to cultivate the ability in a child to develop a meticulous sequence of commands in a language which the computer understands.
In the next 5-10 years, it would not matter what school kids are attending school, but how digitally savvy these kids are, especially with the introduction of 5 G technology that would be paradigm shifting and upend conventional teaching methods. Economists estimated the total economic impact of 5 G on new products and services to reach $12 trillion by 2035 as 5G tries to move mobile technology from connecting with people to people and information, to connecting people to everyone. Hi-tech kids today are learning from the same books I used 10 years ago during my school time. Our school system promotes rote learning, and that promotes conformism in children rather than curiosity. There is a repetitious raj of learning which governs our schools.
If we don’t implement coding in schools then our kids will be in a massive disadvantage and the future will be shaky. In 2017, Delhi-based ed-tech start up Eupheus Learning launched Cubetto which was introduced at about 300 primary schools across India. Cubetto’s innovation is the block-based coding language intended for pre-literate-year children. It is a screen-less coding solution that teaches infants the basics of programming.
Most kids learn to tap and press and hold in the digital age of today before they can speak cohesively or walk. Its wireless pacifiers, friends and entertainers are smartphones and tablets. To do so, children do not need to be qualified in reading or writing because stories and pictures are used to illustrate the concepts.
We can’t rely on the government to formulate policy, top-down approaches are lethargic and bureaucratic that takes a lot of time to implement which our kids don’t have. In the 4th Industrial Revolution, parents and educators would have to take a proactive approach or our children will be left behind.