One of the most salient features of the NEP 2020 is the decision to introduce coding into the curriculum of students from as early as class 6. This means that the Indian government also recognizes coding to be an integral part of holistic learning and so should it be. If you look at coding superficially, it might look like it is writing some predefined structure with colons and semicolons at the right places but if you get into the depth of it, you’ll realize that coding is like any other language; a means of communication and a highly efficient one.
What is Coding?
Coding is a means of communication between human beings and computers. Just as we need English as a global language to interact with people all over the world, we need coding to ‘talk’ to computers. To understand coding, you have to first understand that the computer cannot talk in our language. It is not capable of deciphering all the sentences we say, the words we use. So, if we have to get work done by our computer, we have to first make sure that we ask the computer to do the task in a language that understands. That language is coding.
The computer stores all data, information, commands, and requests in the form of binary code; this means that whatever we type into our system is converted to a different format: a format that uses only 1s and 0s. This process of transforming human information into a form that can be comprehended by a computer is the crux of coding.
Why is coding considered to be the language of tomorrow?
Let’s take a situation first. Say, you have the database of an entire school(name, class, marks) in a record book and you have to give a certificate of appreciation to all those students who belong to classes 8 to 10 and have received 90 percent or above in their semester exams. If you are to solve this through pen and paper, you’ll first have to sit with the record book, highlight the students of classes 8, 9, and 10, find the percentage attained by all these students. Then you would have to highlight all those students who have received over 90%. Only then will you be able to generate a list of these students and forward them for certificates. Not only is this process hugely tedious and cumbersome, but it is also mind wrecking and annoying.
All of this can be very easily solved by writing a program that computes the percentage of students and issues certificates to those who have received over 90%. The time complexity is reduced enormously and the process becomes much smoother and untroubling.
Necessity is the mother of invention. When people are presented with tedious problems like these, human nature makes them look for a solution that takes the least time and effort. Coding is the solution to the problems of the 21st century.
When introduced at a novice level, coding shapes the mind of a child like never before. It strengthens the analytical skills of a child, makes him value reason and logic. Informative years, the brain of a child can absorb more knowledge than a sponge can absorb water. If we can use this to our benefits, we’ll be looking at a very different, progressive, rational world tomorrow, run by the children of today.