Basic coding skills required in primary school curriculum

Member’s name and constituency

Ms. Tin Pei Ling, MacPherson RCMP

Question

Ask the Minister of Education what challenges and implications the government faces when assessing whether basic coding skills should be made compulsory in our mainstream primary school curriculum.

Response

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

2. The skill of coding, however, is more specific and involves learning particular programming languages ​​that can quickly become obsolete. Instead, we should focus on underlying and enduring skills such as problem solving, logical reasoning, and data processing.

3. These foundational skills are currently developed through subject learning, especially math and science.

4. Instead of making it mandatory, we strive to expose a broad group of students to basic coding and technology through enrichment programs and extracurricular activities. MOE works with IMDA to offer programs such as “Code for Fun”, “Lab on Wheels” and “Digital Maker” programs. Since 2014, 93,000 students have embarked on the “Code for Fun” program.

5. Students with a strong foundation in the underlying skills are able to master basic coding with ease and learn programming languages ​​smoothly at later stages of their education, for example by offering computer science as a formal subject in the O or A level.

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