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[CNA] Speaking in Code: Kids in singapore are learning a new language

As Singapore works toward becoming a Smart Nation, parents here are increasingly warming up to the idea of exposing their children to pick up coding and computational thinking skills. But how young is too young?

By Kevin Kwang
Posted 23 Feb 2016 18:36
Updated 23 Feb 2016 23:27

SINGAPORE: Eight-year-old Gareth Koh lounged on the sofa, waiting patiently for his robotics lesson. His father Kevin Koh, dressed in weekend casuals, sat with his son as the pair took in the comings and goings at Nullspace, an educational outfit focusing on robotics and computational thinking.

It was Gareth’s first lesson, and the pair were there at Nullspace’s headquarters on the refurbished grounds of the old Bukit Timah Fire Station despite the fact that it was the first weekend of the Chinese New Year festive period.

Mr Koh, a civil servant with the Ministry of Defence, shared that his son has “always been interested in Lego and robotics” and that Gareth signing up for the course was mostly his idea. The Primary 3 student had just joined his school’s robotics Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) group, and the enrichment class was an extension of his interest, said Mr Koh.

The course spans four sessions and costs about S$300 according to Mr Koh, who said he hoped his son would gain “exposure and self-achievement” from the class.

“It would be some use to him in the future, hopefully,” he said, adding that he views coding as a “life skill”.

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