Should Programming Be Taught In Jamaica’s Primary Schools?

Should Programming Be Taught In Jamaica’s Primary Schools?

We are currently in the era of Information Technology. Almost everything around us now is powered by some computer device. Jamaica has the potential of becoming a “Tech Giant” but are we doing enough in our school system to prepare of next generation for the opportunities ahead? We recently issued tablets to students in both primary and high schools which is a good step to making our next generation more ‘tech savy’ but that alone is not enough.

When it comes to technology, Jamaica has always been the receivers. Meaning we only import technology that is already created. The IT market is worth US$3.5 trillion and it is expected to grow every year going forward (Source). If we invest heavily in our children and ensure that they have the resources, education and skills to be innovative, we can expect even higher growth in our economy. We will have a workforce of brilliant programmers and IT specialist who can easily export their services globally.

Students who do programming are generally well rounded to take on other areas of study…

Not only is there a chance for the country to be better off financially, but programming makes people think… and think a lot. Programming is the ‘King’ of problem solving. Basically we program because we have a problem we want to solve. Whether it be a software that makes it easier to learn a language or a software that let us do our accounting faster. Students who do programming are generally well rounded to take on other areas of study because of the level of analyzing and trouble-shooting that it demands. So even though every student will not enter the IT field it still makes them innovative and creative.

Maths is very similar to programming but the big difference with both is that students usually don’t see the benefit of maths (especially advance maths) in their everyday lives. If we should start teaching programming in schools we could then link both subjects to show students that maths is critical and then we should start to see an improvement in that area. Programming will be more obvious to them, because it is everywhere. It’s in our phones, computers, TVs, ATMs, Games. Social Media, YouTube, Google, Email was only possible with coding. Students will be more engaged in their education especially if we can integrate other subjects with programming to make it fun for students to learn. There are many other benefits to programming and we need to give our children the necessary tools to be apart of the IT era. Not only for them to know how to use these technologies but for them to be the innovators and supply the world with their inventions.

Categories: Technology

About Author

Darren Beckford

A young entrepreneur who is dedicated to the development of advanced and useful technological systems. Growing up in the city of Montego Bay I was a lover of mathematics, problem solving, aviation, finance, technology and business.

Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous 2 June, 2016, 13:51

    This is exactly why Vision For Jamaica exists. We recruit and train volunteers to introduce coding to primary school students using free software and apps. Not every child introduced to coding becomes a programmer. Not every child taught to read becomes a novelist, either. Literacy, numeracy and now coding are vital skills required for 21st century survival. Our goal is for computer coding competency to be included by the Ministry of Education as a prerequisite for high school graduation.

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