PUTRAJAYA – The pilot computer coding programme, now being carried out at 50 schools across the country, has brought out hidden talent among students in information and communication technology (ICT).

Science and Technology teacher at Sekolah Kebangsaan Inanam Dua in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Zhamzamiee Ghulam Rasul said the coding programme not only unleashed the students’ talent in creating mobile apps or website, but also allowed them to set forth topics they strongly believed in.

“What I can see from this program is that my students are more interested in creating (mobile) apps compared to building websites. (They were) so interested that they brought their classmates into the computer lab and taught them how to create an app,” he told reporters after the opening ceremony of 2016 National Code Challenge at Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC), today.

The 38-year-old teacher also said that due to the changing direction of the students towards ICT, it would be in the best interest of the school to conduct the learning and teaching session using ICT, especially coding.

“Creativity can be seen in different fields such as painting (art), singing and sports. But there are students who are not talented in those fields but are really good in ICT and we can see their creativity there. That was what I have discovered through this programme,” he added.

The 2016 National Code Challenge is the finale for participants of the Coding@Schools 2016 programme, an initiative announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Budget 2016, and is the first ever national-level challenge.

It is open to primary school students, who will compete in the Coding@Schools category and to the lower secondary students in the open category.

The four-day event, officiated by National Strategy Unit Chief Assistant Director, Abd Rahim Md Jamil, is being held in conjunction with the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) Open Day and NBOS International Week 2016 at PICC.

Meanwhile, a Mandarin language teacher at Sekolah Kebangsaan Putrajaya Precinct 11 (1), Wong Pi Yue, 38, said although the coding programme is good for the students’ mind growth, the lack of expertise to teach the students is still a concern.

“I’m a computer science graduate, so I can understand the subject. But for those who are not from computer science background, they will have difficulties to understand it and to teach the students.

“We also need help from the parents because the facilities at school are limited. We only have about 30 computers and it’s not enough to serve all students.

“With their help, students can learn the programme at home using their own laptop or PC. In the case where parents are not familiar with the subject, they can always refer to us (teacher),” she told Bernama.

Noting that not every student has the chance to join the programme as the quota is limited, Pi Yue hopes the coding programme will be extended to all students in the future because the two important elements in students’ growth, creativity and innovation, can be found in the programme.

Twenty-five teams from 19 schools out of 50 across the nation were shortlisted to compete in the inaugural National Code Challenge, which will be held from Aug 14 to 16 to take home the grand prize of RM4,000 and certificates.

Source: BERNAMA

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