How necessary coding has become for education is evident from the fact that over the last couple of years, apps have sprung up both on iOS and Android to make coding fun. While more children are taking to coding in the West—each profession now demands basic computer skills—in developing countries, skill development has been linked to traditional fields like driving, masonry, etc. Thus, the effort by the principal scientific advisor of the government to introduce coding in schools is a positive step in preparing children for jobs of the future. The Department of Science and Technology announced its pilot project at a school in Delhi. Under the programme, kids would be taught skills like creating cartoons, introduction to creative computing using scratch, creating websites, CERN CMS data workshop, Python language, built-in functions and modules, as well as how to build projects.
The initiative is undoubtedly expected to prepare a workforce for the future— World Economic Forum highlights that artificial intelligence specialist, blockchain specialist, and big data analyst are some of the likely professions of the future. But, there are some concerns that the government needs to address beforehand. Reports from ASER highlight that even after a decade of widespread use of the web, schools in rural areas still lack the requisite infrastructure. So, in 2010, while only 8.6% of children were using a computer, this had fallen even further to 6.5% in 2018. If the government is serious about changing the dynamics of employment, it must bring about a change in rural areas. Making computers available will be the first step, but imparting advanced education is also essential. Coding is as vital in the 21st century as writing was in the 16th century.