Imagine diving into a world filled with endless possibilities, and the only limit is your imagination. With a few clicks and buttons on your device, this can be possible. On the other hand, imagine diving into a world where there is no online security, you are constantly being tracked, and you get hacked often. Yes, this is the power of coding. It is wonderful, but it does have its drawbacks. You have heard the phrase “Computer science and coding is the future, it is such a crucial skill” a million times, but is it really? Let’s dive in deeper.
Firstly, implementing computer science into curriculums is great for boosting children’s problem solving and thinking skills. With coding, you have to solve problems, whilst abstractly thinking of a step-by-step solution. A child may have taken weeks to create a website, yet it does not function properly, because of a small coding error you made earlier on. Then, the child would have to look through the coding script and find what the problem is, and how he/she can change it. It is a leading skill for the future as technology advances.
However, forcing children to learn coding on top of maths and English already may be too much for them, and they may start to feel too pressured, which can lead to other problems later in life, whether it be mentally or physically. Since students already have so much on their plates, is it really necessary to bombard them with so many core classes? Secondary school students have to work on exam subjects, and if computer science is examined, they may not study for it and neglect it. Another approach could be to make computer science non-examined, but then some students in exam years may also find it frustrating having to learn an extra subject, which they take no interest in. Thus, what is the point of providing a curriculum when most students will mess around in that class?
On the other hand, many jobs will require the skill of coding, and there is a lack of supply of Computer Science Majors. In 2015 in the United States, computer science majors accounted for only 3.14% of majors, a 0.62% decrease from 2010. So, by making computer science a compulsory subject, schools will be helping students to increase their employability, and expanding their knowledge. Furthermore, many outcast students will be able to find a passion or excel in a subject, as they may not find traditional subjects that interesting. This is similar to the case of arts vs humanities, some students find their passion in the arts whilst others find theirs in humanities. Schools should encourage students to blossom each student’s interests as much as they can, and adding a new subject is a great way to do this.
Regardless, computer science is always changing, as there are constantly new softwares, apps, programs, and more. Learning to code may be useful today, but will it help you tomorrow? Only time can tell. Many students would be frustrated if they spent many years of their life studying something that no longer applies to the world, unlike maths and English. Maths has been the same for decades, and English has gone through some changes, but primarily, it is still the same. For such a new subject like computer science, it is unpredictable where the field will take us. Schools may also have to constantly adapt, update, and purchase new equipment, thus it may be costly for them to keep up with the field.
So, the million dollar question - should coding be taught as a core subject, like maths and English? In my opinion, I think that if schools have the funds and the majority of students are interested in this field, then yes, it should be implemented into curriculums for students to learn. However, taking into account that many students are already stressed with exams and other tests, it should be made compulsory only for primary students and the early years of secondary school, as the students do not have to take any major exams.
Young Entrepreneur Council. “Should You Learn To Code? Six Pros And Cons”. Forbes, December 18 2013, https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/12/18/should-you-learn-to-code-six-pros-and-cons/Accessed June 29th 2020.
Sedgewick, Robert. “Should Computer Science Be Required?”. Inside Higher Ed, October 28 2019,
Accessed July 3rd 2020