Create an early software-learning environment

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Create an early software-learning environment


Yoon Jong-lok

Software is the new big thing. With the convergence of different industries, software has become an essential tool in advancing existing industries and creating new services in the fields of electronics, automobile and aviation. Of the system development cost to integrate hardware and software, software comprises of 64 percent for communication devices, 51 percent for fighter jets, 41 percent for medical equipment, 60 percent for shipbuilding and 40 percent for automobile.

As the role of software grows in many areas, the wall between experts and the public has disappeared, and tools to create software will be available to the general public. We are quickly learning that anyone who has a basic understanding and knowledge of software can create software to express his or her thinking and values. The new period in which software will become the key language of the 21st century is coming.

A new and important task for society is to provide education to children so that they can become familiar with computer languages, which would boost creativity and would aid in the healthy untilization of software. Software education will help youngsters naturally think, reason and resolve problems on their own. For example, it will allow a child to think, “Maybe I can create a smartphone app to realize my idea,” rather than simply downloading one.

Many countries are reinforcing software education. The United Kingdom has announced an after-school education program in July last year. Titled Code Club, the program will start it September this year. The United States is promoting its “Hour of Code” campaign. In Israel, computer classes are a mandatory part of curriculum for elementary and middle schools. Although Korea has the world’s best information and communication education infrastructure, it lacks the basis to provide high-quality software education to students.

The government announced its software renovation strategy in October last year to improve the current situation. It contained specific plans to reinforce education programs in elementary and middle schools to nurture creative and talented students. It is crucial to create an environment that children can learn software, just like they learn English during their childhood.

BY Yoon Jong-lok, Vice Minister of the Science, ICT and Future Planning Ministry

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