The Alice Center East program that has been developed by a analysis staff at Carnegie Mellon College in Qatar (CMU-Q) will likely be launched at a number of Pakistani faculties this 12 months.
This system makes use of graphics and animation to show primary computing ideas even when college students are unfamiliar with programming languages.
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Dr. Saquib Razak — a pc scientist of Pakistani origin — helped to develop the Alice Center East staff because it started greater than a decade in the past. Throughout this time, he has seen the necessity for Laptop Science training to develop. Whereas discussing this system with school members and the media, he mentioned,
Throughout this pandemic, we’ve got seen how expertise and innovation can construct bridges between youngsters and academics, employees and employers, and family and friends who’re bodily distant. As the following era appears forward to their future research and careers, computing expertise will likely be essential for almost any area they select.
Dr. Razak is an Affiliate Instructing Professor of Laptop Science at CMU-Q and is the Affiliate Space Head of the CMU-Q Laptop Science Program. He additionally serves because the Co-director of the Hamad Bin Jassim Middle that oversees the Alice Center East program. About 10 % of CMU-Q’s alumni are from Pakistan and plenty of have returned to their dwelling nation to pursue their careers.
Increasing to Pakistan
Dr. Razak had traveled to Pakistan earlier than the pandemic to introduce the Alice-based curriculum to colleges and organizations throughout the nation. A number of faculties had proven an curiosity within the curriculum whereas recognizing the significance of computational considering, logical reasoning, and Twenty first-century expertise in center college training.
The curriculum defines what must be taught, however there may be one other integral element: efficient supply by skilled and educated academics. That is essential in order that educators can preserve the scholars engaged and information them as they be taught.
In 2020, Dr. Razak had skilled academics from a bunch of personal faculties in Pakistan to make use of the Alice program to show computing. When the educational 12 months begins, this system will likely be taught to roughly 20,000 college students in center faculties.
Earlier than Pakistan, Alice Had Come to Qatar
The Alice programming atmosphere was initially developed by researchers on CMU-Q’s primary campus. As an alternative of utilizing a programming language that may be troublesome for varsity youngsters, Alice employs graphics, animations, and a drag-and-drop atmosphere to information college students by way of programming ideas.
In 2008, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser had expressed an curiosity in bringing Alice to Qatar. By a grant from the Qatar Nationwide Analysis Fund (QNRF), Dr. Razak and a staff of researchers localized Alice to the Center East context by creating curricula in Arabic and English and growing educating sources. In 2012, his staff piloted Alice Center East at a non-public college in Qatar.
Annually, the faculties educating Alice grew, and the staff used suggestions from academics and college students to hone the training supplies.
In 2018, Qatar’s Ministry of Training and Increased Training integrated Alice Center East into the Data Communication Expertise (ICT) curriculum for presidency faculties. At present, Alice is taught to greater than 5000 college students per 12 months in both English or Arabic.
In a while, Dr. Razak began growing the unique Alice studying modules right into a complete three-year curriculum.
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Dr. Razak now serves as an advisor to the Nationwide Curriculum Committee for Pakistan’s Ministry of Training and Skilled Coaching and is designing a nationwide curriculum for center college Laptop Research.
“I’m very excited in regards to the computing portion of the Single Nationwide Curriculum”, he mentioned.