Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Businessweek
Innovation

9-Year-Old Coders Show How India Is Pioneering Online Education

Around the world, the switch to remote learning is feeding demand for programming lessons.

A young student attends an online coding class at her home in Mumbai.

A young student attends an online coding class at her home in Mumbai.

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
From

Shivank Patel has been learning to write software code for a year, and he’s already built a handful of apps, including one for donating food to street children. He’s working on a platform to help doctors track preterm babies. Patel, who lives near New Delhi, is 9 years old.

Online coding classes for elementary school students were taking off in India even before the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to online learning. Behind the boom is demand from parents who think knowledge of programming is as essential as writing and arithmetic, and who fret over keeping their homebound kids productive during the crisis.