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November 16, 2018

Saudi entrepreneur on a mission to teach programming to Pakistani students

Karachi

November 16, 2018

A Saudi educator and entrepreneur, Omar Farooqui, has embarked on training Pakistan’s young students to code a range of computer languages so that they are fully equipped to play an active role in the present-day world characterised by rapidly growing technology applications.

Farooqui is the founder of Coded Minds, a Dubai based firm that offers various courses to students. Speaking to The News, he said Pakistan has a massive potential in the fields of artificial intelligence and coding languages. He added that the existence of as many as 60 million children in the country makes his mission challenging as well as rewarding.

“A change will come when the youth of today will be empowered with the right tools for the technology of tomorrow,” Farooqui maintained. Teaching computer programming at schools will bring about the change, he said while stressing the need for modernising education system in the country.

Farooqui’s company teaches coding and artificial intelligence to schoolchildren in Dubai. The firm has been working with schools in Dubai to evolve their curriculum in consonance with the requirements of the present-day technology.

“The ideas of classrooms, teachers, and curriculum have undergone transformation all over the world and the education system in Pakistan should also embrace this change,” Farooqui asserted. According to him, learning of technology or coding of computer languages should not be the prerogative of only one class of society and if it is taught at a mass level, it can bridge class difference in society.

Farooqui believes that coding is for everyone and should be taught to all irrespective of their background and level of education. “Technology becomes more affordable if it is used on a mass scale,” he said, adding that his idea behind Coded Minds was to help technology integrate human beings from all walks of life.

Teachers at all schools, whether they are public or private, can be prepared to embrace this transformation, Farooqui said, adding that all that is needed is the determination to do it. “Every school has the capacity to teach [coding] but do they want to change the current system and teach it...I don’t think they have done so as of now,” he remarked.

“We at Coded Minds want to change that. We are not a threat but a means to a better way of education for everyone whether they are being imparted through public or private schooling systems,” the entrepreneur said.

Commenting on the quality of teachers in Pakistan, Farooqui said despite being talented, many Pakistani teachers lacked skills. “There is a lot of talent in Pakistan but unfortunately teachers are trained in old ways. It is not their fault. Change must be brought about and teachers must be trained using modern techniques. Until that is not done the education system will remain behind the curve,” he said.

Farooqui acknowledged that working in Pakistan was not an easy task. He, however, said he was determined to succeed. “I believe in the potential of the country’s people and I believe children are hungry for a change and success,” he said.

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