Chintu has become a household name since a start-up funded by large angel investors started bombarding coding for kid’s advertisement in Indian digital and online media. I was surprised to see these kid-coding start-ups becoming success stories and hence decided to write about it. The tremendous response to these advertisements by Indian parents is jaw-dropping. The primary reason behind such start-up’s success lies in their effective advertising and aggressive marketing skills. Through this brief blog post, I am going to put my opinion about this disastrous idea of forcing kids to code!
Indian youngster’s success stories in the information and technology industry have been considerably discussed in upper-middle and middle-class family gatherings since the beginning of the twenty-first century. Many young Indians have successfully settled themselves in the luxurious life of Silicon Valley. In contrast, others have managed to get a quality lifestyle within the country. The obsession of monetary wealth and freedom from the chaotic socio-economic environment has given birth to the race among Indian parents (mostly millennial parents). A race to make their child next Satya Nadella or Sundar Pichai!
The digital education service providing companies are baiting on this sentiment with their (so-called) innovative business model. They claim to teach your child coding by using buzzwords like machine learning and artificial intelligence. What they end up doing is collect a hefty amount of course fee and teach your children how to use their online coding platform! By the end of the online course, many parents come to know that it’s not easy to build an app and attract investors like how it is shown in the advertisement. However, they still remain hopeful for a miracle from their child. Unfortunately, some educated illiterate parents continue forcing their child to code better by enrolling into more courses. In either case, children are being introduced to abnormal and complicated course content which they should have been studying in their prior college years. This is not only making them distressed but also hampering their all-round growth.
I am not against ‘coding for kids’ concept but rather against how it is being imparted in the society today. To code and develop a website, software or app, one needs to understand technical know-how (syntax) of a coding language. However, this is not enough! Along with technical know-how, logical thinking and creativity are considered to be the critical ingredients of a successful code. Online ‘coding for kids’ course focuses only on technical know-how which can be quickly learnt in later stages of life.
The fact is that logical thinking and creativity is not as easy and straight-forward as technical know-how to teach. It comes with observation and experience over time. This shows that the whole process of doing online courses becomes redundant at this stage of your child’s life! I believe that we should enable our children to come upon real-life problems and allow them to think about its solution before writing a code.
If we don’t understand the importance of logical thinking and creativity, we will end up having a generation as we had after the boom of English medium schools. Admitting a child in English medium schools have not always made them successful. Many of them are still spending their life in MNC call centers. This should not happen with the coding generation. We can avert this disaster by not falling prey to the false-narratives shown in the advertisements and by letting ‘Chintu’ be ‘the only Chintu’ forever!
Note: I had challenged myself to complete this blog post within an hour. Whatever you have read above is just 1 hour of thinking and writing! I hope you liked it 🙂