By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III is urging the Department of Education (DepEd) to include teaching code, known as computer programming, in the K-12 program in grade school.
“Coding is now an essential skill due to the prevalence of computers in our daily lives. It should be treated like reading, writing, and arithmetic, not just as a career option,” Pimentel said in a statement Wednesday.
In the present K-12 program, ccomputer programming is offered only as a course in senior high school, under the Information and Communications Technology strand of the Technical Vocational Track.
But Pimentel, who graduated with a degree in BS Mathematics, said that coding is “a way to introduce concepts such as logic and mathematics to children.”
“By teaching code, we can take advantage of children’s fascination with technology to help them learn mathematical concepts in a manner they find entertaining,” he said.
The Senate chief added that the subject would likewise teach grade schoolers “life skills” such as perseverance and problem-solving.
Pimentel said the DepEd would not need state-of-art computers in teaching the basics of code. He said it would also improve the performance of schools in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM.
“We can use open-source software such as Linux to keep costs down. Also, since many Filipinos own smart phones and we now have the free wi-fi law, it is easy to download many apps that will help children learn more about programming,” he proposed.