The world is moving at a fast pace. And adults try their best to match the pace, but often they cannot because such is the development consuming the world. While 25 year olds are still trying to earn a place in this highly competitive salary race, what about 5 year olds? You would have seen many advertisements endorsed by popular celebrities saying that kids should start coding right from age 5. The tender age where they should be chasing a butterfly, they are to sit before computers. And not just learn coding, but also aim to be the stalwart that companies should be hounding after.
The biggest scam
Coding is an integral part of the digital world and of course, everything is done with the help of it. But that alone is not enough to incentivize parents into signing up their 5 and 6 year olds to coding classes. These ‘education’ platforms supposedly charge a hefty amount from parents just by some flashy marketing and advertising. You would’ve come across ads where a company allegedly claims that a 2nd grader bagged a 1.2-150 crore job from Google. It is definitely hard to believe(it has been proved that the claims are bogus) and at the same time, saddening that kids are now forced to enter the salary race.
Why coding isn’t the only thing in picture
The deeper unsettling fact is that parents are put up in such a situation where they feel bad for not signing up their kids. Think about what any parent would do if they hear that any child has the capability to design an app and can bag a place in top firms. They will readily sign up their kids, thinking they are going to secure their child’s life. But, what they don’t know is that, there is time. 1st grade or even 8th grade is not the age for children to learn the fundamentals of a for loop construct. It is the age where they are to learn the world, the surroundings, and their presence.
It is when languages should be given importance to. No, not programming languages, but the languages which lets them express their opinion to the world and which lets them explore the richness of their culture. It is when social and democratic sciences should be learnt, letting them know about their ancestral world.
It is also when values and ethics should be imparted into them, not by texts, but by making them experience it in a situation where it is put into test. While there is so much to learn about, forcing them to create a video game application not only burdens them with unnecessary information, but it also limits their creativity by directing it into one field only.
A note to parents
One thing parents must hardwire into their mind is that, coding alone cannot land you a job in Google or Microsoft. It is just another tool to put an idea into implementation. By introducing kids to coding at an early age, the ‘idea’ part gets subdued. There is no particular age to start coding. It is a gradual process.
We may not be aware, but every individual is already coding, no matter their knowledge in computer science. The literal meaning of coding is: to use a particular system for identifying things. As kids, as adults we already incorporate it in daily life when a kid arranges his play blocks in a certain manner or when adults have a particular system of doing their chores.
Hence everyone can code if they have the interest to do so. The reason kids shouldn’t be obliged to learn coding at an early age is to allow them to have the time to identify their interests. So as parents, the least you can do is by providing them that right. The right to choose things that delight them. The right to choose it for themselves instead of pushing it down their throats at an age where they don’t even recognize it. Do not let falsified ads ruin childhood. Let them decide for themselves who they want to be. Until then, enjoy their transition. Because they are going to be kids only once.
You have a lifetime to work. But children are only young once.