How many hats will you put on your child’s head?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

There have been many posts and comments on social media about the need of teaching coding to children as young as 6-8 years old. Why are some companies into teaching tiny tots about coding? Is it ethically wrong?

Let’s get the basics first – these companies are here to make money. If education is what they want to spread, they can teach history, sociology, (entire) political science, geography, agriculture, horticulture, logic, statistics, mathematics, botany, zoology,……AND moral science. But these companies will not venture into such stuff. Because (many/most) parents will not send their children to learn these subjects. So these so-called ed-tech startups are only catering to the market demands. Yes, they are creating an artificial demand. Just as smoking cigarettes in injurious to health, but companies are permitted to manufacture cigarettes, in a similar way, teaching coding to 6-8-10 year old school children may not be advisable, but parents are ready to take that chance. Ultimately, it is for parents to decide whether their child should wear an additional hat at such a young age. Should a child be spending another few hours in front of the computer screen to learn coding? Will those coding techniques and programming languages learnt at the age of 5, 6, 7,…12 still be useful by the time the child is ready to enter the job market? How will it affect his/her interests in other subjects? Is that affecting his/her eyesight, back, and general health? Coding is addictive – once you start there’s no stopping, we all know that. But like all addiction, is this addiction also not bad?

So before admitting a child into a course costing tens of thousands of rupees, it may be worthwhile to teach the child from free online courses. There are many such courses, and once the child has done these free courses, it makes sense to enroll her/him into a more demanding and paid course. Everyone need not know coding, just as everyone doesnot know about farming. Everyone doesnot have to know OOPs and databases just as everyone doesnot know about rabi and kharif crops.

BTW, (coding != computing) && (coding != computer science).
Coding is like bricklaying. Architects don’t start with bricklaying. 

Categories: Blog, education, Programming

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