APU’s ESG Initiative Builds Coding Skills Among SMK USJ 23 Students

Enthusiasm and understanding of the programming languages displayed promising potential in the tech industry, a testament to the positive impact of early exposure to coding.

To bend a bamboo, start when it is still a shoot. At Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU), we not only taught our students the skills needed but also knowledge sharing, and the response was enthusiastic!

On 20 July 2023, eight APU Information Technology students and three lecturers went to Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) USJ 23 to share basic programming lessons in Java and PHP — programming language used in mobile apps, enterprise software to big data applications.

Through this Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiative, all students and lecturers made an important step in promoting digital literacy among Malaysia’s youth.

“Java and PHP are among the most relevant and practical languages in the field,” explained Ms. Nor Azlina Abdul Rahman, Advisor and Coach for the Forensic & Security Research Center Student Section (FSEC-SS).

According to her, the sharing sessions were properly arranged and planned by Ms. Yusnita Yusof, Vice President of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of SMK USJ 23, who wished to boost digital literacy and foster interest in coding among the younger generation.  

“We hope to have more similar activities in school in the future as they greatly benefited the students’ learning,” Ms. Yusnita claimed, as this effort is “In line with the goals of Malaysia’s National Policy on Science, Technology, and Innovation, which advocates preparing the future workforce for the demands and opportunities of Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0).”

The sessions began with a quick overview of both programming languages. They then proceeded to explain the basic syntax and concepts of Java and PHP, keeping the high school students interested and eager to learn.

SMK USJ 23 students took part actively in a variety of coding exercises throughout the day. Their enthusiasm and understanding of the languages displayed promising potential in the tech field, reflecting the positive effects of early coding exposure.

The session concluded with an assessment of the student’s comprehension, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate their newly learned skills, with fourteen students standing out and receiving prizes from APU.

“The progress achieved by these students in one day is very impressive and reaches the level of early introduction to coding and logical thinking,” said Ms. Noris Ismail, one of the School of Technology (SoT) lecturers who participated in this session.

Her colleague, Ms. Zaireeda Mohd Fauzee added that, “Knowledge of the basics of coding paves the way for unlimited growth, shaping and enhancing the future of innovation. At the end of the day, all students have a solid understanding of Java and PHP.”

The day’s instructors/facilitators, Danisy Eisyaf and Mikayl Abdul Jalal, as well as APU students Vincent Chin Wen Shen, Koh Li Hom, Tengku Ahmad Afif Irfan, Yuvaneesh Ravi Shanker, Matthew Labial John, and Ryan Martin, were honored to be given the opportunity to share their expertise and knowledge of Java and PHP with all Form 5 students of SMK USJ 23.

It was a rewarding experience for them to be able to share their knowledge with others. The high school students were also grateful for their guidance and stated that they had learned a lot and were motivated to continue learning about programming.

This sharing session creates an excellent opportunity for APU students to give back to the community. It also allows students to improve their communication and leadership skills, making it a win-win situation for APU students and SMK USJ 23 students.

Many thanks to the dedicated Computer Science Teachers, Ms. Rohaiziah Ali Mahmud and Ms. Farahiah Rosli, who have been very supportive and helped to make the learning session run smoothly.

APU intends to run more of these sessions in the future, helping students in developing essential skills and knowledge for the fast-paced digital age.