I’ve recently been on this self reflecting mode about the future of our education system for some time now and believe that coding is going to be a huge part of our students’ lives. I say this because, more than ever, the internet and technology has been a huge part of how we learn, gather information, communicate, create a successful business as well as just plainly “show off”.  I’m a strong advocate of teaching the youth these things early because in a world of “Internet Entrepreneurs”, this is something teens SHOULD learn if we care about their future.

I was first introduced to computers in 3rd grade, and at that time, it was just about learning the basics of how to use the computer and type efficiently on the keyboard. Thanks to my elementary school teachers (and the lovely Mavis Beacon), I was prepared for the world ahead of me that is mostly operated by computers. My generation quickly jumped into a realm filled with Floppy disks (yea, remember those?), power point presentations, Napster and AIM that soon later graduated to, Drop Box, Web designs, Itunes and Twitter. I continued my interest in the subject in high school, where I taught myself how to build my own computer thanks to a lovely site called Google. My interest and studies have continued until this day as I prepare to start my own business. And what I have seen and learned is exciting.

Computer Science is a subject that is constantly expanding and there is so much to learn. We are headed to a direction where technology is meant to be easy, mobile and convenient to our needs. Our young generation of children we have today, in which I like to coin them as “Baby Bots”, are picking up things much faster than did in the past. In fact, they are exposed to this new wave of technology straight out of the womb. We give toddlers things like tablets and smart phones, to keep them occupied for either entertainment or educational purposes. The fact of the matter is, they quickly learn how to use these new technologies faster than you teaching your parents how to set up a voice mail.

So I’m asking parents of teenagers, “Why not enforce your children to learn more about computer science since they are already ahead of the curve than most adults?” Sure it’s cool to teach teens how play a game on an app, but what if you can teach them how to MAKE a game for an app. See what I’m getting at here? Every day, millions and millions of Naira are being poured into the hands of software/hardware developers who are creating a new ways on how to change the world. These teens can cash in on it.

There are websites such as Code.org, Codeacademy, and One Month Rails, that offers simple minded people a platform on coding solely from the convenience of their homes. Not many schools have competent teachers and the facilities to teach computer science in most of our schools. Meaning, if you want your teen to learn this ever growing subject that can help them for whatever career aspirations they desire, you personally have to go out of your way to do so. We need to encourage our school systems to help advocate computer science participation into the classrooms in our country or else our students will continue to fall behind in the subject. An “Hour of Code”; which is a campaign started by Code.org during Computer Science Week, that helps exercise the minds of our teens in the classroom.

Now I know I might have bored you a little on this subject, but believe me when I say, it’s kind of important. It’s going to shape our youth. Whether it is creating idea or developing one; let them seize the opportunity to succeed in this subject. In an economy that is hard to find jobs, people are simply finding out new ways to create a job and that is something that is encouraging moving forward.