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Coding, as we know, is increasingly becoming a key competence which will have to be acquired by all young students and workers in a wide range of industries and professions. In this digital age of apps and softwares, learning to code is gradually becoming an indispensable skill!

Also, with Bahrain growing rapidly as a prominent startup hub of the world, and StartUp Bahrain, being dedicated to promote a startup culture in the country, we feel that learning to code is becoming increasingly indispensable and that it has multiple benefits.

Here are 5 reasons why Bahraini kids should learn to code at an early age.

  • Develops logical reasoning and lateral thinking.

Coding enhances logical reasoning and represents one of the key skills which are part of what is now called the “21st century skills”. It is a known fact today that learning to write programs stretches one’s mind, and helps him to think better in almost all domains”. At a psycho-social development stage, coding enables children to sharpen their cognitive skills, improve human interactivity and transform perceptions acquired from the environment to make logical connections.

  • Is as essential as basic education.

In the recent past, many leaders and trend-setters in various fields have suggested that mastering code is as essential to a successful start in life as is basic education and should be incorporated in the curriculum. In 2015, at the speech opening National ICT Australia’s (NICTA) Techfest event in Sydney, the then Australian Communications Minister Malcom Turnbull had said, “We really should have every student acquiring some familiarity, if not expertise, to machine languages— I mean, that is the new literacy: Reading, writing, arithmetic, and coding“, he said.

  • Fosters self-sufficiency and problem-solving ability.

Coding fosters self-sufficiency or managing things on one’s own, coping with peer pressure, stress, etc. While learning to code, children acquire these abilities.

  • Is grasped better and more easily when learnt at a younger age.

Extensive researches in the field of coding have suggested that like learning any new language, learning to code or master a computer language gets only more difficult as we grow older. So naturally, it helps when kids are taught coding at a younger age.

  • Helps to develop an app more easily.

In this digital age, kids are quite familiar with the many apps they use in the market, and are likely to come up with awesome ideas to create new apps based on their needs and wants. And since it is impossible to write an app without learning to code, coding is the skill that stands between any entrepreneur with a bright idea and a saleable product in the App Store or Google Play Store.

And now, a quick look at how we can get kids in Bahrain learn to code:

  • Coding should be incorporated in the curriculum, in order to initiate kids into the subject right from a very early age when they can pick up any computer language, and understand programming faster and more easily.
  • To aid in this, Tamkeen can do the following:
    • Provide financial assistance to various schools and educational institutions to undertake this project of teaching kids how to code.
    • Tamkeen can also assist educational institutions with the right tools and equipments required to teach coding to the youngsters.
  • Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) can also provide financial support in the form of funds to school and/or introduce scholarship schemes to encourage and promote digital learning in the country.
  • Even Bahrain Polytechnic can incorporate technological studies as an extracurricular activity. All these will help boost the startup ecosystem of Bahrain by helping nurture young talents from a very early age.

And in the meantime, your kids can also learn coding through courses on, Tynker, TechRocket, amongst a host of other child-friendly coding courses on the Internet! Here are three quick courses that may be a really good start to get your kids to learn coding:

  1. Programming for Kids and Beginners: Learning to Code in Scratch
  2. Game Development and Coding for Children
  3. Kids Coding: Introduction to HTML, CSS and JavaScript

With these measures implemented, Bahrain is sure to soon be a fertile ground for extremely talented and creative young entrepreneurs who can code and create a world of disruptive apps on their own!