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OPINION: Computer programming should be mandatory for K-12 education


Computer programming classes should be included in the core curriculum for K-12 education.

The world has become more digital, and coding languages ​​have become more complex and widespread in today’s world. For the same reasons that students need to take up math, science and English, students need to learn these digital skills to prepare themselves for the new world situation.

I’m not saying that every student who walks across the stage to receive their high school diploma should, at that point, be willing to work at Google or Microsoft. It takes time to master even the most basic programming language. However, students should be able to move on to whatever they plan to do next with a basic understanding of the logic behind some of the more common languages ​​in use today.

Right now, the numbers are looking up, with 51% of U.S. high schools offering foundational computer science courses by 2021, according to Code.org. But there are still bugs that need to be addressed – rural schools, urban schools and schools with a higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students are less likely to offer any computer science courses. In addition, in 37 states, only 4.7% of high school students are enrolled in these courses.

“Given the importance of computing in today’s society, it’s not enough that half of the schools lack even one course,” the report says.

I agree, it’s a good start, but we can always improve.

The rates at which I see each future generation progress academically have always amazed me. I recently learned that my middle school childhood now taught geometry to 8th graders-a class often offered by our sophomores and juniors in high school. We have the capacity and ability to do this with computer programming as well.

Our new generations are able to manage the curriculum, especially with the fact that many new generations are starting to be more knowledgeable in technology than their parents or grandparents. Even if our schools need to start more lightly, more concept -based classes to focus on the logic behind coding, it’s still possible.

These courses can be offered early in the middle and even in elementary to prepare students for more rigorous courses down the road. High schools can then begin offering more advanced courses for students who are good or those who want to pursue coding after graduation.

Every day, I see more and more advertisements for coding bootcamps and online certification programs. Why don’t we just include it in the public education system? At the very least, we can give our students a leg up if they want to pursue this kind of career.

Even if your student doesn’t want to code for their career, these skills are valuable in their own right and can help students become better students overall. I had to take a foreign language in high school, so I chose German, hoping to use it on the most unique occasions. But I still learned valuable historical, linguistic and cultural knowledge from this course.

Offering computer science courses early in public schooling will not only teach our new students the skills and knowledge to succeed in this new digital world, but will also strengthen their understanding of logic, mathematics and engineering as well.

Sean Gilley (he) is a senior studying political science and economics with a certificate in informatics.





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