Students at The Diamond Jubilee High School, Mumbai, enhance analytical skills in nationwide coding competition
“Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you just want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.” Stephen Hawking
This quote inspired the Diamond Jubilee High School (ICSE), Mumbai (managed by the Aga Khan Education Service, India), to participate in the Hindustan Times’ HT Codeathon this October. The one-of-a-kind coding competition encouraged students from Grades 6 to 9 to further develop analytical skills whilst competing for prizes such as laptops and smartwatches.
Here in India, as we have seen with schools around the world, the pandemic has greatly altered the education landscape. Teaching with innovative, remote approaches to address academic content, as well as learning to understand the socio-emotional needs of the students, is at the core of the school’s approach. Participation in the Codeathon was one of the many ways that the school worked to maintain student engagement and education during the pandemic.
Principal Mrs. Nutan Iyer explains that the school aspires to practice carpe diem and urges its young, future leaders and entrepreneurs to make the best use of the opportunities given to them.
Grade 9 student Asim Sirnaik, who participated in the Codeathon, remarked, “Every website, smartphone application, computer program and calculator relies on a code. I want to be a one-of-a-kind architect who designs and builds machines in the digital age. The HT Codeathon gave me the platform to engage with programming languages like Python and Scratch from the comfort of my home. It brought me one step closer to my dream.”
As terms such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics permeate our daily life, the time is ripe to delve into the coding world. Coding is an integral part of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, and fosters critical thinking, curiosity and creativity. Coding was recently integrated into India’s New Education Policy, allowing students from Grade 6 onwards in all schools to learn an important skill whilst preparing them for a world of exciting, technological innovation.
Photo: Miss Zahra Nayani using programming language Scratch