Seventeen-year-old Barbadian Faris Khan who is living in Canada recently partnered with the local Muslim community to offer free workshops in coding for young people.
Khan, the co-founder of Block Society, conducted the first session of the free Coding Workshop between December 16 and 18, at the St Paul’s Conference Centre, St Paul’s Avenue, Bayville, St Michael.
Khan said Block Society’s flagship python educational programme was created out of a strong passion, a shared vision and a ceaseless commitment to making learning easily accessible from anywhere in the world.
“Students are going to be embarking on a really awesome journey of mental gymnastics as well as problem solving.
I created this course to teach youth the fundamentals of coding. A lot of youth think they can jump right into a lot of the core concepts and a lot of the advanced concepts but before you can even learn any of those things you have to start off with the fundamentals.
“Once you are able to build a great base you are able to build upon it very well and you are able to also jump into other languages and get into specifics of programming such as artificial intelligence and the list goes on,” Khan said.
Founded in 2021, Block Society’s unique approach to learning is designed to provide students with the opportunity to get an education on their own time.
Khan stressed that modern technology has provided the opportunity for the collection of virtually any type of quantitative data to be expedited through creative and innovative ways of thinking, particularly with the advent of personal smartphones.
He believes that relatively simple tasks, including completing a COVID-19 screening questionnaire are not typically thought of as a prime target for automation, and suggests that on a large scale, saving mere seconds can go a long way.
Khan said the society was committed to making education accessible to students from all backgrounds and levels. Through the society this year, the teenager also led educational sessions for computer programming through Islamic organisations in southern Ontario, including Muslim Neighbour Nexus, as well as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) parent organisation.
“Just being Bajan-born it is amazing to come back here and give back to my community, free of charge for all these students. The least I can do is just come back and share some of this knowledge within the community. I hope for the students to be at a point where they are able to go out and sell applications and bring in revenue and get them to a point where they can do so many great things with programming,” he said.
The classes taught were primarily focused on the fundamentals of Python in addition to select advanced concepts. The classes accommodated between 20 and 25 students ranging from eight to 53 years of age, who attend sessions in a “hybrid” model of online and in-classroom learning.
Khan is presently a senior year student at ISNA High School.