The 21st century has immensely changed the way people work, necessitating the need to acquire and hone their skills to sustain through the ever-evolving environment. There is an acute dependency on devices that are smarter than average humans. Automation is replacing jobs at a fast rate. Beyond the tools of comprehension, a business needs a high level of cognitive skills such as creativity, logical reasoning and the ability to solve complex problems.
Here, educational intervention in prioritising computer programming and operating systems into mainstream education can render the population equipped enough to be at par with technological advancements.
Coding has become one of the most important skills to learn in the 21st century. It is better to start early to get better results because it helps young people to sharpen their creativity and think outside the box. But when it comes to developing core competencies in computer programming, people or children with limited resources face significant obstacles.
As per the National Sample Survey Report on Education for 2017-2018, only 24% of Indian households have internet access. While 66% of India’s population lives in villages, only 15% of rural households have access to internet services. For urban households, the ratio is 42%. There are even more fences for female students to climb.
Digitalisation of education in semi-urban and rural areas is still a challenge to achieve due to poor infrastructure, device access, data cost, lack of skills, gender inequalities and various other barriers. To address the concern, Google expanded its annual advertising grant commitment to $1 billion in June 2020 to support non-profits fight Covid-19 and racial injustice.
Sharing the same inspiration and commitment, The Programming Foundation was fortunate enough to receive the grant to scale its operations and expand its reach to leverage maximum people. The platform is built for programmers to enhance their skills and create a community to promote people at the grassroots who will then create a self-sufficient community of developers worldwide and gain real-time experience.
The foundation focuses on education, based on written instruction and concise documentation supported with examples and processes. Additionally, it provides students with hands-on experience of working together as a team by developing free and open-source software projects to aid in global disaster relief and international humanitarian aid efforts for the public good.
The open-source environment involves volunteers for building industry-standard technologies and applications that solve real-world problems. The platform does not require any registration or downloading anything and is free from any kinds of ads. Since you do not have to download an app or watch a video, it is easy to learn from the platform as data consumption is low. Simultaneously, the organisation also foils individual against any sort of privacy violation.
Subhajeet Mukherjee, President and Founder, The Programming Foundation, said:
‘The challenges of participating in quality computer science education are deeply entangled in the web of socio-economic, cultural and racial disparities. The objective is to democratise education for free to expand its access to maximum people so that no one is left behind when the world advances.”
The foundation aims to expand its hand in open-source software to reduce the cost of laptops, as a large portion of the profits goes to the company manufacturing processors for them. Beside the Google grant, the TPF has also received in-kind support from other major companies.
Where computer programming is no longer a recommended skill but a requirement for the 21st century, the TPF is aimed towards providing free, quality learning that can be accessed by all.
Just visit the TPD website, click on any module, and you can learn within the website itself and start coding immediately. If you need further help, there is a community of several volunteers who have signed up to help users.