8-year-old Vrinda Jain has created an app that helps ambulances guide the busy streets of metro cities. 10-year-old Proud Sood has created vision, an eye-checking app. Whether it is a technology related to parking or our health related app, online coding class Whitehat Junior’s 6 to 18 year olds are doing great work. Recently 26 children from US and India participated in the White Hat Junior Silicon Valley Challenge. Byzu acquired Whitehat Junior in August. Shadab Shami of Dainik Bhaskar spoke to Karan Bajaj, the company’s founder and CEO.
Question: How did the idea of teaching kids coding come about?
Answer: I have two daughters. I wished my daughters would make something new. Those who are creative have an engaging life. When I started writing Nobel, life changed. I thought I would make something. So I started this. Today coding is the way to create such new things. As the trend of maths began at the time of the Industrial Revolution, it became a language. In the same way today, the language of making something is coding, I want to prepare the children for that.
Question: How many children and teachers have joined you?
Answer: We have 11 thousand teachers. So far, 50 lakh students have been registered in about 18 months. One and a half million children are paid students. It is also from countries like India, USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia. There are 40,000 classes daily here.
Question: Only women teach in Whitehat Junior?
Answer: Yes, all our teachers are women. These women were not part of the workforce before joining us. This is one who is highly educated, talented, but was not working anywhere. She was not able to go out of the house for a job for some reason. We have given such women a chance.
Question: Why only female teacher?
Answer: My father was an army officer. The mother was very educated, was the topper of Delhi University, but due to her frequent transfer of father, the mother never made a career. In such a situation, I felt that there would be millions of women in the country who, despite being talented, would not be able to make a career. In such a situation, I decided that only such women would be hired for teaching. It is the responsibility of an entrepreneur like me to give them a chance.
Question: Why do so young children learn coding?
Answer: There is an important international research that a child’s peak creativity occurs at the age of 5 to 6 years. He feels that everything is possible at this time. After this, his creativity keeps decreasing by half every 10 years. In such a situation, if children learn creativity in coding, then it is possible that their creativity remains.
Question: Many people say that it is a burden on the child?
Answer: Whenever something new comes in the world, it is opposed. It is possible that when Maths has come, it has also been opposed. But should ask the children who are experiencing coding. Imagine how happy he would be when he built a rocket himself. The child is not doing it under pressure, he is learning. Similarly, children take only two classes a week, so there is no burden. Within 18 to 20 months, we have become the second largest agotech company in the country after Biju, which was not possible if the children did not like it.
Question: How is it beneficial for children in the future?
Answer: Along with learning new and creative, its major advantage is that the child is able to understand technology. We use other’s build apps etc., the feeling of the children who are learning now is that I will make things for myself in future.