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HT Codeathon: A journey towards realising the dreams of Delhi govt school students

By Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HTC,

Under HT Codeathon initiative, 13.461 students from about 1,000 schools are being trained in coding

Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia with schoolchildren and teachers

With the increasing advancement of technology across the world and in India, coding is not just any other subject, but it is a method of mental development. Students develop long computational thinking and algorithmic intelligence and are able to break down a problem in a structured form by using art, design, and other creative techniques through coding. In today’s time, coding is the most discussed and developing idea. In the view of teachers, experts, and parents, coding is important for children, preferably at an earlier age. Nowadays, most private schools have coding as a mandatory subject.

While government educational institutions across the country are working their way out to come at par with the private schools and institutions, the Delhi government has been proactive in revolutionising education in its schools. Keeping in mind the importance of coding and the ongoing focus on the subject, the Delhi government has introduced HT Codeathon for government school students.

During their second term in 2015, the Delhi government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, focussed its reforms to improve and modernise the existing education system. The education department of the Delhi government, under education minister Manish Sisodia, began developing from the scratch the educational infrastructure in the national capital.

Starting with making new school buildings, establishing world-class schools of excellence, state of the art classrooms, swimming pools and gyms, the Delhi government transformed the old, rickety condition of the educational infrastructure under the state government. With time, the Delhi government also realised that for the development of the education system, upgradation of the infrastructure would not be enough. Education minister Sisodia began brainstorming with experts and introduce innovative elements such as happiness curriculum and entrepreneurship curriculum. The Delhi government also focused and developed student-teacher parents’ interactions with the concept of mega PTMs.

Smart education is the key to envision a smart future. Cultivating coding skills among school going students is essential to developing a problem-solving approach and ultimately imparting more algorithmic thinking to make complex problems easier. To promote critical thinking among students, the Delhi government has launched various initiatives to disseminate the language of coding among students. A similar, one-of-its kind initiative is She Codes, which involves building a strong foundation of learning coding and tech skills among girl students in Delhi government schools.

The Delhi government partnered with She Codes in January. The idea was to build up coding and programming skills in the girl students. The first phase of the partnership was envisioned, where around 1000 girl students of Class 6 in the Delhi government schools were taught coding. Apart from imparting the specific coding skills, the aim was also to build algorithmic logical thinking in the students.

During the pandemic, the focus of the programme shifted from coding to animation, which was taught remotely. In the last couple of months, the students have created animated videos, delivering a wide range of social messages on their YouTube personal channels. In the second phase, these students will be specifically taught programming.

Recently, the Delhi government has partnered with HT Codeathon, through which the government is targeting to teach coding to the students of the Delhi government schools.

During a recent interaction with students and teachers on the progress of the HT Codeathon sessions, Sisodia, while lauding the efforts and achievements of the students, said, “It is my dream to see our students create their own companies like Google, and watch them take it worldwide. Coding is giving these students the wings to fly from an early schooling stage.”

Under the HT Codeathon programme, 13.461 students from about 1,000 Delhi government schools are being trained in coding and programming skills. 2,567 students have completed all five chapters till date.

Chief minister Kejriwal applauded the Codeathon initiative. “Being a trained engineer from the IIT, I have always realised the importance of technology and the scientific minds and methods. Childhood and school education are the most important parts of any person’s life. Just the way charity begins at home, the basic learning of even the most complex subjects should begin from the very childhood. The Delhi government’s initiative of teaching coding to the children will not only open a new door of their learning but also create an example in front of the world that the government schools can also dream big and make it happen,” he said.

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