12 year old Anuj barged into the house beaming with joy, “mom !, i scored 4 goals for our team today and we won the match !”, sweating profusely as he spoke. “Anuj, first go in and change your clothes and have a wash and i will get dinner ready for you”, answered mom, cooking in the kitchen.
“Manju, Anuj has been wasting his time playing since the time his school closed down due to Covid. We should have signed him up for a course at WhiteHat Jr”, Anuj’s dad grumbled watching the TV. “Dad, i keep seeing these ads from Whitehat Jr everyday, what is it about?, even my friends keep talking about it “, Anuj asked curiously as he sat on the dinner table to eat. As dad replied, “Beta, they teach coding to kids”, Anuj couldn’t help contain his curiosity, “what is coding and why should i learn it?”. “In this competitive world it helps to learn new things, that’s why”, dad replied. “But you still haven’t told me what is coding”, continued a stubborn Anuj. Unable to bear the argument, mom interrupted, “Vinay’s mom was telling me the course is helping him in building Apps and he is really enjoying it, you will also like it”. “But mom, Vinay never comes to play and even when he does , he doesn’t speak at all, what will he do building Apps”, Anuj answered. He continued, “i know many other friends who did the course but when i asked them about it, they told me they learnt a new language. That’s all. Its just a language that a computer understands. Even if coding can help build apps, can we build an app to prevent the floods in Hyderabad or the earthquake in Indonesia?”.
“so what do you plan to do when others are learning new skills”, dad intervened. “I am enjoying my studies and playing outdoor sports now. I want to continue doing that. I think these experiences will help me understand what i want to do. I want to solve bigger problems, not by building apps but through thorough research. I feel coding is a language that can be learnt at any time. More importantly, i want to first understand concepts, analyze things and solve problems because those are things that coding will never teach”, replied Anuj, leaving his parents shell shocked ! He continued, “while there are many courses in the world to teach coding, there can be no course to teach problem solving skills. We can learn it only by doing things, failing and doing it again, i learnt this by playing football”.
“But son, don’t you think you are wasting your time playing football while others are learning new technologies?”, dad tried to argue. But it was futile, as Anuj retorted back, “do you know how many strategic changes we had to make in the field to win, i learnt so much about gameplay, planning and strategy that i will probably never learn with technology”.
“I think Sports is the greatest teacher because it teaches us important lessons, mainly to enjoy life by experiencing failure, respecting collaboration and working hard to achieve success like i did today by scoring goals. No coding course can ever teach that”, said Anuj as he got up and snatched the remote from his mom to watch his idol Nadal playing the French Open.