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Preparing Prominent Programmers, Preparing the Future

Randi Eka - 15 September 2015

During the awarding night of ICT Award 2015 (INAICTA) last Wednesday, the Ministry of Communication and Information Rudiantara expressed that his team are currently working on having programming inducted into school’s curriculum. He further claimed that he had discussed about the idea with the Ministry of Education Anies Baswedan. Programming skill indeed is crucial as it’s one of sources of innovation that Indonesia sorely needs to build a better future.

A survey by Microsoft YouthSpark, which was conducted earlier this year towards 1.850 students in 8 APAC countries, including Indonesia, found out that 87 percent of students think programming is a very cool thing, thus they were really eager to learn it. Most of them (91%) were even confident that programming will get them a better career.

Meanwhile, schools start reducing the portion of IT curriculum

It’s challenging to stuff programming into the curriculum, since public schools, from elementary to high schools, no longer regard IT as a compulsory subject, unless if it’s an IT-based institution in the first place. The subject functions no more than a consultation session, similiar to that of counseling session. Schools rather stuff students with subjects which don’t guarantee their future.

Another possible option would be to turn IT session into an extracurricular activity outside school hours. It’s interesting, though, to see it collaborated with exact sciences like math, physics, and chemistry, as some of logic used in programming may suit those subjects. However, big question remains; do they have skilled and experienced resources required for that? It surely needs series of adaption beforehand.

There are many ways to channel students’ attention to programming

Making students interested on something indeed isn’t an easy job for teachers, but it’s quite effective to let them absorbing the knowledge they need. In case of programming, numerous approaches can be taken, with one of them is by initiating students’ favorite as the learning media, e.g developing a game. Some IDE (Integrated Development Environment) apps offer an interactive and visual-based experience for doing it.

We can use some IDE apps, one of free services out there is Kodu Game Labs. This app is a unique learning media to teach and train students’ programming skills. It utilizes programming language using visual approach. Students may easily manage the logic of an object in the game according to the functionality they want. There are many other media out there, one of them is a local-based Cody’s App Academy, a simple programming portal for kids.

Not only teaching programming to students

Programming skill will grant a more effective mindset to those who wield it. It’s called “Computational Thinking”, a way to solve problem, design a system, and understand a habit using concepts in computer science. The science designs logic and mindset to later be executed in order. By learning programming, such Computational Thinking ability can be planted, making one’s brain always loom for an effective solution once he encounters challenges, by comparing various available methods. According to a research, such mindset is what we need for the future, as it lets us catching up with upcoming trends.

In addition, a research by IDC revealed that in 2020, there will be a huge gap between the amount of available IT wizards and the market’s demand. The research suggested that there will be around 6 million IT jobs available, while qualified candidates will only be around 3 million.It was supported by US Bureau of Labor Statistic’s research which stated that in the next 4 years, there will be additional 5,8 million IT-related jobs available, in which 51 percent of them would be software development. It indicates that students with programming skills will have a bright future.

The prospect of IT indeed is very massive. People are more and more accustomed to IT solutions while managing their daily performance. IT is foundation of the future, thus the more prominent IT masters a country has, the more prosperous it will be in the future.

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