Should kids in Indian Schools learn Computers or Programming?

Nearly all school boards in India today teach computers & programming. I am more familiar with the central boards – ICSE & CBSE. In ICSE syllabus you learn about computers (Microsoft Office, internet browsers etc) in primary school (may be 4th, 5th grades) and in 9th grade you can opt to take computers (which is Java programming) or economics or other things like singing. In CBSE it appears students “must” take computers in 9th and 10th which is programming (Visual Basic).

At times I feel we are pushing our kids to become programmers at an early age, the sad part is without understanding the basics they become programmers. Very dangerous. The more dangerous part is the teachers are themselves clueless about programming (can’t blame them, they don’t have that background). Both CBSE & ICSE students of 9th & 10th grade don’t have textbooks, yes no programming text books. The teachers usually dictate the programs, students memorize it. This is counter productive.

We need to appreciate the fact that many students don’t like programming, they may want to be in Arts, Medical as they grow up. They ought to know computers & internet but surely not programming. Why should a doctor know Java programming? He will make a mess of it. But if he knows the benefits of being computer/internet literate, that will ensure he is current in his field.

My daughter had to learn “instantiation” in Java in her 10th. I am sure she had no clue what it meant, in fact many engineering students too have no clue about OOPS.

It is a welcome change to see computers being taught actively in our schools but they ought to relook at what is being taught. Else you will dissuade many from ever programming in their lives.


  1. Dr Mira K Desai says:

    ICSE its from first standard. What you have raised it so true. Great space. Keep it up.

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