There’s a shortage of skilled developers in Australia. But when Prime Minister Tony Abbott was asked in Parliament yesterday if the government would commit to teaching coding at primary level, his response was nonsensical and unhelpful.
Picture: Getty Images/Stefan Postles
Asked by opposition leader Bill Shorten if the government would commit to teaching coding at primary level, Abbott responded:
Let’s just understand exactly what the Leader of the Opposition has asked. He said that he wants primary school kids to be taught coding so they can get the jobs of the future. Does he want to send them all out to work at the age of 11? Is that what he wants to do? Seriously? Seriously?
Whatever your politics, Abbott’s stance completely lacks logic. As Leon Sterling pointed out the other day,
Of course, not everyone taught coding will become a coder or have a career in information technology. Art is taught in schools with no expectation that the students should become artists.
Nor, we might add, does learning a skill in primary school mean you immediately go to work. When the debate is at this level, it’s hard to feel confident about Australia embracing technology’s potential.