Staff Reporter 

Fifteen teenagers, including six girls, are participating in the 10-day programme ‘Coding with Scratch’ at the Royal Institute of Management which began yesterday. 

The institutes pilot project is for children between the ages of 10 – 15 years.

The Head of DICT, Palmo Thinley said that the primary purpose of conducting the programme is to generate interest and curiosity in our children in technology from an early age.

She said that achieving Bhutan’s ICT vision of creating an ICT enabled knowledge society has to be a multi-pronged approach and everyone has a role to play.

“As a training institute, we feel that such programme will build a strong foundation in computer science and ability to code computer programs, which is an important literacy in today’s society,” Palmo Thinley  said.

The platform used for the young coders is ‘Scratch’ which is a free platform developed by MIT Media Lab and millions of people create Scratch projects in a wide variety of settings, including homes, schools, museums, libraries, and community centers. “Schools have widely adopted Scratch to develop logical thinking in children, therefore we found it to be a good and fun platform for our children,” she said.

By the end of the programme, children are expected to be able to program simplistic version of their own interactive stories, games and animations. It would also be an important stepping-stone for children to learn coding with Scratch.

“Through this coding programme, it would also introduce our young coders to critical 21st century skills such as problem solving skills, creative thinking skills and logical thinking,” Palmo Thinley said.

“Going by the overwhelming interest for registration, RIM will be looking towards making this a regular program for children.”

For the current batch of coders, RIM will also explore developing additional levels in coding, depending on the competency level of the children.