In China, a seven-year-old logs online for a coding lesson – but this time, he plays the role of the teacher, not the student.
This is a normal sight and becoming even more of a norm more children in China are introduced to coding lessons before they even begin primary school. Even Japan has introduced young children to computer programming by making it a compulsory subject in elementary school, beginning last year. But why the sudden obsession with teaching kids such a complex subject?
SchoolAdvisor has talked to coding experts to get their insights about the benefits of coding for children and why parents should introduce their kids to coding from a young age.
Computer science is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world with guaranteed job opportunities in the future and learning coding will not only help children to prepare for the future, but also in their current academic journey.
CEO/President Asia Pacific of Coded Minds, Gregory Duffell says, “In this new age of digital everything, kids (and adults) who cannot understand or interact with technology are quickly left behind in society.” He argues that a basic understanding of coding is as important as learning other languages like Bahasa Melayu, English, Mandarin etc.
He adds, “The skill sets learned during coding also assist in many other subjects such as Math, Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) and even English (communication and logic sentence structuring etc.) with research showing that kids who learn to code usually improve Math scores in the range of 20 to 30%, which is quite amazing considering “math” is on most kids ‘My worst subject list’.”
Athreya Murugasu, the Founder of Build A Code started a coding class for kids upon noticing the increasing importance of coding in future jobs.
According to Athreya, “The next generation of world-changing ideas will be invented by today’s children. Coding empowers kids to create from an early-age, leveraging the mathematics and language they learn in school to build their own exciting games and applications. This also drives their creativity, problem-solving and logical thinking skills - key to any future education and career pathway they may choose.”
In coding, computer programmers figure out the bugs by generating a hypothesis and tweaking the codes to test which one can solve the problem. One of the biggest ways programming strengthens critical thinking is by utilising the exact same process. Coders must try, make mistakes, and try again, until reaching the solution.
Just by learning how to code, students will be learning the same patterns and steps of critical thinking. Thus, it will teach children to break down difficult problems into smaller parts and then try to solve them.
Coding is challenging. It is a continuous loop of trial and error and can be immensely frustrating even for experienced coders. But once the solution is found, it is a rewarding feeling to know that despite how difficult it was, you’ve managed to do it.
Christina Cee, the Senior Marketing Executive of iTrainKids believes, “Coding is important for kids because it really builds character. Coding involves debugging and requires high-level problem solving skills. By practising how to code, kids not only enhance their critical thinking skills, but it also encourages them to face problems head on, and find multiple creative solutions to one problem.”
Introducing your children to such an experience will help build their perseverance and confidence at an early age, which will definitely help them in the long run. Whether it is in their personal life or their career, perseverance and confidence will be a powerful trait for them to be successful.
To parents who are still hesitant about enrolling their children into coding classes, this is what the experts have got to say to you:
Luckily there are plenty of coding classes in Malaysia that caters specifically to children, even those as young as 5 years old.
Coded Minds provides coding as STEM Coding classes both online and in school classrooms for kids ages 5 to 16 years in Malaysia and across the globe. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) uses a blended teaching approach combining these subjects into one single lesson by having the kids build fun hands-on projects.
The company’s mission is to make world class education affordable to all, so their pricing for coding lessons is incredibly cheap, starting as low as RM25 per lesson. Check out Coded Minds here and you can contact email@example.com or call/Whatsapp at 017 392 5206 for more information.
Build A Code was designed to be Malaysia’s first 100% personalised online coding programme for kids (ages 5 to 17). Among the personalised programmes available are a Marvel-themed game for the superhero fans, a musical application for the musicians and a fashion project for the trendy kids.
The children are also encouraged to go beyond and further personalise the projects to their own liking once they grasp the basic concepts of coding. The kids will get paid an incentive if their creative design adds value to the project. The personalised learning experience is unique and prized by Build A Code as it encourages students to challenge themselves in pursuing ideas that they are excited about.
Reach out to them at Build A Code and you can enrol your child by messaging them directly on Facebook or WhatsApp at 011 5627 1843.
iTrainKids designs the learning environment that embodies a tech playground. Kids can play around, interact with each other, collaborate, and share their ideas with one another. Their trainers are trained to be extremely nurturing and encouraging, providing personalised support and feedback to kids. They constantly come up with new games every month, and allow kids to build their own games while learning coding principles.
They provide free trial classes to test children's interest which usually lasts for one hour. These classes are conducted virtually and you can sign up here. If you would like a face-to-face class experience, or want to enquire just about anything, you can get in touch with them at +6017-8705113 / +6012-7980622
More parents are gradually realising just how lucrative coding is for their children and giving them a head start in a STEM career. It makes sense too because technology will only continue to advance in the future, and skills like coding will be in high demand as more industries begin adapting to and adopt the technology.
For more beyond classroom activities, check out: