Like many schoolchildren around the world, seven year old Ehan Rattani has spent 2020 learning from home. However, Ehan has gone above and beyond his school curriculum and has spent lockdown learning coding with Alison. Ehan is one of our youngest ever graduates and plans on putting his newfound knowledge to good use.
Hi Ehan, tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Ehan and I’m seven years old. I’m in Year 3 and my favourite subject at school is Maths. I like playing and watching cricket and football. My favourite cricket player is Glenn Maxwell on the Australian team. My other hobbies are playing the piano and the guitar and also swimming and playing chess. My passion these days is coding. I want to create an app for people who have hearing problems. What the app will do is, whenever someone says something, it will get displayed on the screen so the person who has hearing issues can see what’s been said.
That’s a great idea, how did you think of it?
I just got the idea one day. I saw someone had made a text-to-speech app and I thought why not a speech-to-text?
How did find out about Alison’s online courses?
I found out about Alison after my mum registered for a course because she wanted to learn coding. [These classes were facilitated by the Ismaili National Council UK. Through its training institutions, the Aga Khan Economic Planning Board and the Aga Khan Education Board, the Ismaili National Council has a vibrant educational partnership with Alison. You can read more about our work together in community learning here.] She lost interest but I started watching the classes. I became interested and I wanted to learn more and they recommended Alison.
Which was the first coding language you started to study and why?
What is the difference between online learning and learning at school?
Well at school I have a teacher to guide me and we also have a set schedule. But at home I have a lot of information available to me online and I can complete work at my own pace.
Do you prefer learning online or having a schedule at school?
I prefer a bit of both because, at school, I can meet up with my friends and I have a teacher to guide me. But then again at home I’m able to do things in my own time and I don’t have to wait for my classmates to finish doing work. I can just finish it and move onto something else.
How has learning from home been during lockdown?
It started off pretty exciting – we had our schedule, we had time to do our school work and we had time to do other things but eventually it got boring. Also everyone just went off the schedule and started refusing to do work.
What do you think would improve online learning?
I think our school classes online would be better if they were on Zoom because right now they just give us all the documents but the teacher isn’t there to guide us.
Do you think, in the future, it would be a good idea for classes to take place online as well as in school?
What courses are you studying at the moment?
Which has been the hardest so far?
I think Python is pretty difficult but I’d say Java is even harder.
Have you thought about what you’d like to do when you grow up?
In the future I want to work in NASA and create robots and Artificial Intelligence to work on the ISS and on other future space missions.
If you could learn absolutely anything in the world from an Alison course, what would it be?
And if you could make a course, what would you want to teach the world?
I’d probably make a course on AI so that people could invent robots to make Earth a better place in the future.
On 24 February, Ehan’s amazing achievements resulted in him being featured on BBC Three Counties Radio. Click the play button below to listen to Ehan’s interview about his experience of learning with Alison and his dreams for the future: