Programming is a social activity
A desire to have a good reputation among friends is a very good stimulus for children especially when they become teenagers. No less important is a competitive element. Two of these factors are combined at programming classes as kids learn in teams, do tasks together and compete to find out who does these tasks better.
When attending programming schools, kids find new friends. They are not connections which will help them in their future career (though nobody knows what each of them will do in the future), but are friends who share common interests.
Online classes work perfectly as well, because in this case kids meet each other and communicate with each other in a virtual class.
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