Ultra conservative Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott doesn’t think kids should learn computers. In an embarrassing blunder he even ridiculed his own government’s investment in technology education, showing yet again how the people who make laws are not at all in touch with modern technology.
This disconnect, which we’ve covered before, results in laws that don’t properly consider technology that we must then live with for decades. By not understanding technology lawmakers are unable to create laws and policies that work in the modern age.
The embarrassing gaffe happened late Wednesday, when opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten asked the Prime Minister whether he supported coding being taught in every primary and secondary school.
“Let’s just understand exactly what the Leader of the Opposition has asked,” the Prime Minister proudly proclaimed. “He said that he wants primary school kids to be taught coding so they can get the jobs of the future. Does he want to send them all out to work at the age of 11? Is that what he wants to do? Seriously?”
Yet his own government has already invested $3.5 million in coding across the curriculum. The program does not make coding compulsory, but will instead develop a suite of resources that support and promote best teaching practices across different year levels, even primary schools. Science and business leaders have been calling for coding to be taught formally in schools for many years now.
Abbott’s misinformed remarks not only highlight how out of touch politicians are with modern technology but underscore America’s need to teach computer skills from a very young age in order to stay competitive. By learning how to write code students form the foundations of computer language which enables them to tell programs how to operate. It also breeds the next generation of computer science engineers, an increasingly large part of the modern workforce.