Compulsory basic coding skills in the primary school curriculum

Published Date: 09 July 2018 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Tin Pei Ling, MacPherson GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education what are the challenges and implications faced by the Government when assessing whether basic coding skills should be made compulsory in our mainstream primary school curriculum.

Response

1. Our primary school curriculum is designed to build strong foundation in literacy, numeracy and the 21st Century Competencies (21CC) that will prepare students well for future learning.

2. Coding skill is however more specific and involves learning particular programming languages which can become outdated quickly. We should instead focus on the underlying and enduring skills such as problem solving, logical reasoning and data-handling.

3. These foundational skills are currently developed through the learning of subjects, particularly mathematics and science.

4. Instead of making it compulsory, we are working towards exposing a broad group of students to basic coding and technology through enrichment programmes and co-curricular activities. MOE works with IMDA to offer programmes such as ‘Code for Fun’, ‘Lab on Wheels’ and the ‘Digital Maker’ programmes. Since 2014, 93,000 students have embarked on the ‘Code for Fun’ programme.

5. Students with strong foundation in the underlying skills are able to pick up basic coding readily, and learn programming languages smoothly at later stages of their education, such as in offering Computing as a formal subject at the O- or A-level.

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