Coding: A life skill that needs to be Learned

Elakshi Nedungottil, Journalism Student

Dear Editor, 

Every year in school, teachers have their students take out their laptops and log on to Hour of Code to learn how to code and make music, art, and games. The problem is, this only happens once a year. For an hour. And that’s not enough time to learn about such a useful life skill which can carry you so far in life. 

All the time, people ask me why I’m not that into coding. The truth is, I would be, but I never really got introduced to it properly. I remember joining a coding club once in elementary school, but even there I was just told to log on to Scratch and do whatever I wanted. In elementary school, we got about 30 minutes every year to code, and during that time I messed up and banged my head against my laptop in confusion, because I didn’t know what to do and I kept messing up. 

Only about 1 in 4 schools actually take the time to teach kids coding. Only 23% of kids can actually code due to this, and 30% of those kids taught themselves, according to a survey from StudyMode.com. These statistics are from 2014, but even now not many kids know how to code.

Coding is in high demand when it comes to job opportunities, but since most of us grow up not knowing how to code, the door to millions of jobs closes on us. There are opportunities to learn computer programming in RCMS, but in the form of electives. And you have to take Computer Solutions for a semester before you can advance to coding. I think Computer Solutions is probably a fun elective, but I also really love Engineering and Journalism, so I’m torn.

A lot of people simply aren’t interested in coding, and that’s OK. But according to eSchool News, about 59% of kids who can’t code want to learn. And a lot of those kids probably wouldn’t be willing to give up the electives they chose, because they are also interested in those.

So, in order to give students time to learn coding as well as letting them learn other skills, I think that during Advisory in Panther Time, along with learning about stress and time management, there could be short lessons on coding. I think a lot of students will like having that option, rather than just not learning coding at all. 

Sincerely,

Elakshi Nedungottil

Seventh grader