In 2019, the Singapore government announced that all students in upper primary have to take coding enrichment classes effective from 2020. Since its inception, the Code for Fun programme has brought in an influx of coding and robotics tools into Singapore schools with the aim of building a workforce “inculcated with basic coding and computational thinking skills.”
Why all the focus on coding? Is it really beneficial for every single student, even for those who dislike it? The answer is a resounding yes, and we’ll give you 5 reasons why!
1. Coding helps develop problem solving skills.
Firstly, coding is a powerful tool to teach children problem solving skills. Problem solving encompasses a wide variety of logical and creative thinking abilities, but what it boils down to is the ability to break a complex problem down into smaller sub-problems, then ideating and testing possible solutions.
When children are learning how to code, they start by writing simple algorithmic processes to solve basic problems, such as printing a string of text into the console. As they grow more experienced, they progress to writing programs for solutions that are more complex in nature and require multiple steps to solve. Through this, children will learn to structure their thoughts, assess the tools they can use, plan out their actions, evaluate, and revise their solutions to solve the larger problem.
This multi-step process of identifying what they want to achieve, taking the steps to do so, and then evaluating their actions teaches them how to think through a problem and will hone their problem-solving skills.
2. Learning about code helps hone digital literacy.
Secondly, learning to code helps children to understand the world they live in.
In this modern era, every waking moment of our lives is powered by code and algorithms. From the traffic lights that tell us when it is safe to cross the road, to the smartphones we use to call friends and the countless websites on the internet we browse daily, much of what we do relies on the proper functioning of code to keep things moving quickly.
In this highly digitised society, an understanding of technology becomes a necessity for thriving. Without a proper understanding of how common technology functions, children will be left digitally illiterate and at a disadvantage compared to their peers.
3. Coding helps teach children about failure and the value of resilience.
Trial and error is an inevitable part of the learning process, especially so for coding. Many beginner mistakes can be made, from forgetting a semicolon to using the incorrect syntax, that can cause a program to fail. As they make and correct mistakes, children will learn to keep on trying, even if their code doesn’t work the second, third, fourth, or the fifth time.
When children are given the opportunity to fail and grow from their mistakes, they learn that failure isn’t the end but instead a stepping stone to success. It teaches them that they shouldn’t be afraid to fail and when they do, they should remain resilient in the face of adversity to succeed.
4. Coding is becoming an increasingly valued skill in the labour market.
Programming ability is considered a valuable skill in the workforce by employers, even within non-technical roles. A prospective employee who knows how to code is likely to have more employment opportunities, as well as opportunities for growth and career advancement, than those who lack coding skill.
Additionally, having knowledge of a programming language or coding projects will signal to an employer that said employee has the resourcefulness and initiative to upgrade themselves outside of work, making them a valuable employee in the long run.
5. Coding is a versatile skill.
Finally, coding can be used in a variety of hobbies and projects, not just those related to computing or web development. If your child has a vibrant imagination, why not encourage them to create a simple HTML game they can play in their browser? Or if they love design and art, they can try to redesign or make a website using HTML and CSS programming.
Still not convinced of the benefits of coding? This June, we’re holding online beginner coding classes for children over the school holidays! Sign up now and send your child on a learning adventure this holiday month while spots are still available!