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Punjab govt in touch with Microsoft, Google to introduce tech certifications for school children

February 11, 2019

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"Not every child has to become a plumber, not every child has to work at a store, why can't we give them better skills," says  Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas — Dawn/File
"Not every child has to become a plumber, not every child has to work at a store, why can't we give them better skills," says Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas — Dawn/File

In a bid to foster computer programming skills in children, the Punjab government has established contact with tech giants Microsoft and Google and invited them to come to Pakistan.

Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas, while speaking on a television talk show, said that he is in touch with both companies and hopes that children in grades 9 and 10 will soon be able to acquire Google and Microsoft certifications.

Raas said that he met with Google and Microsoft while on a trip to London and "asked them about coming to Pakistan ─ officially coming to Pakistan."

"They will be here this summer, hopefully," he added.

The minister noted that not every child who drops out of school should feel compelled to take on a job that doesn't require specialised skills. "Why can't we give them better skills?" he asked.

"The new world is [driven by] technology, so in grade 9 and 10, let's offer them software development courses."

When asked why they weren't targeting even younger children to be taught coding, Raas responded: "We are already starting that."

Explaining the rationale behind the move, the minister said: "If a child drops out of school after grade 10, [they can] walk into an office with nothing else except a Microsoft certification."

"Not all children will be continuing their schooling after the tenth grade, that's just the way it is. It cannot be changed," he added.

"Technology is the future," Raas concluded.