Coding will soon be compulsory at primary schools – but the class has actually been available since 2014

Students will learn core computational thinking and coding concepts through programming-based lessons, and get exposed to emerging technologies like AI.

Thinking of sending your kid to coding classes?

You might soon be able to save yourself the trouble, as Singapore’s education ministry is making it compulsory for all upper primary students to take a 10-hour coding enrichment programme starting next year, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran announced on Wednesday (July 10).

Some schools will even get the programme as soon as this year, as part of a pilot test before rolling out the compulsory classes nationwide, The Straits Times reported.

The programme, called Code For Fun, was first launched by the communications ministry in 2014 as an optional enrichment class for primary and secondary school students.

In the programme, students learn to combine programming languages, such as Scratch, with robotic kits. They also pick up computational thinking skills – which form the foundation of coding – and will learn about emerging technologies like AI.

Some 93,000 students have since attended the programme, ST said.

Apart from the now-compulsory classes, the programme will also continue to be offered to secondary school students as an option to complement computing subjects offered at the ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels.

The minister said that the programme would equip young Singaporeans with the skills needed to participate the digital economy.

Digital skills were by far the most in demand in Singapore this year, according to reports by LinkedIn and recruitment firm Robert Walters.

The reports found that Singapore’s most in-demand jobs were mostly analytical and data-driven, with top roles including data scientists, UX designers, and cyber security specialists.

A LinkedIn report on job skills published last month listed Singapore’s three most popular new skills as blockchain development, workflow automation and human-centred design (including product design and UX design).

All three skills are related to the digital economy.

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