Coding and Computer Programming were once considered as a skill reserved for tech-savvy and computer geeks. However, it has now emerged as one of the crucial tools for the development of overall personality and 21st-century skills among students. Coding platforms have now become an integral part of learning at the school level. Under NEP 2020, Coding has been mandated from grade 6 onward, considering and realizing the necessity of the same in this competitive world. Coding is now being realized as a mindset, rather than a subject. The sudden emergence of coding as a learning tool is a consequence of numerous technological developments that have taken place in the past few decades.
Understanding the demand for coding and related platforms is now being adopted by a majority of students across the globe. Yes, coding is a well-known concept in economically sound countries like the USA, UK, Canada and many more. Talking about India, students coming from metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru have easy access to all the learning resources, but the students belonging to aspirational sections of society face hindrance in having access to quality learning tools and platforms. It is high time wherein coding platforms along with government schools should be taking initiatives to set a path for government schools belonging to developing and underdeveloped cities to be able to have access to digital learning platforms.
Coding platforms and organizations should come up with initiatives where students from underprivileged sections can also have access to coding. Here are some ways in which government schools can be assisted in providing vocational programs to their students
- Collaboration with NGOs
Coding platforms can collaborate with NGOs working around the welfare of child development. They can also tie up with big corporations, utilizing CSR funds for providing exposure to digital learning platforms to students from aspirational sections of society and government schools in remote areas.
- Providing Competitive Opportunities
Competitions focusing on key skills such as Creativity, Critical thinking, Problem-solving skills, etc. are great ways to engage students and provide them an opportunity to showcase their mettle. It also helps the students have a sense of motivation and boost their confidence to explore more about vocational programs.
- Specialized Campaigns
Coding platforms are aggressively conducting some specialized campaigns that aim at the reinforcement of vocational programs in government schools. One such campaign is launched by Tinker Coders – Online Coding & Experiential Learning Platform called as De<Code> the Future campaign. The campaign aims at providing free courses to students coming from underprivileged sections of society. Such campaigns will not just benefit the end-users, i.e., students but also create awareness around the development of educational resources being provided to government schools.
- Adopting Regional Languages Assistance
The government and education ministry are leaving no stone unturned in the development of educational infrastructure and providing quality resources to students coming from developing and underdeveloped regions. Coding has also been introduced at the primary school level considering the importance of the same. But due to a lack of proper resources, not all the students can have access to it.
Many challenges are faced by students coming from such areas. For example, the Language barrier is a major issue in a country like ours. 21 regional languages are spoken in different parts of the country. And English language is used as the medium for the instruction of such programs. Therefore, the coding platforms also work around providing courses in regional languages to the students in various parts of the country.
All of this is broadening the reach of coding platforms, helping them to cover a larger number of students across the country.
One big challenge that comes is restrictions on students to stay at home due to the spread of the Coronavirus. This can be tackled by providing mobile-friendly courses so that students thosewho don’t have the availability of affording computers or laptops at their homes can easily access coding courses. This challenge can be further overcome when the schools will reopen, and students will be able to join the regular classes. The students can then learn coding at the computer labs, or in the Atal Tinkering labs, which have access to the Internet as well as computers/laptops.
Following all these steps can certainly help coding platforms to provide ample opportunities to all the students. The development of educational infrastructure should be at the grassroots level, which will definitely add value towards the empowerment of the youth of our country.
By Anoop Gautam, CEO and co-founder, Tinker Coders