Coding will soon replace history and geography under Australia’s revamped national curriculum.
Australian students will begin coding at age 10 and computer programming at age 12, Mashable reported. The move was one of the last acts approved by Education Minister Christopher Pyne, who will be sworn in as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science.
The Australian government plans to invest $12 million to strengthen science, technology, engineering and math education initiatives and improve the country’s innovation and economic sectors.
The demand for STEM subjects in primary schools has gained momentum worldwide.
Last year, the United Kingdom ambitiously changed the national curriculum, which includes coding classes for children as young as five-years-old.
In Germany, the country’s Social Democratic Party recently called for mandatory computer science courses at all grade levels. According to ZDNet, the party said, “We want to overcome the digital divide between young and old, rich and poor, between the city and the countryside.”
In the United States, computer science has not been fully implemented in the national curriculum. According to Code.org, a nonprofit group backed by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, only 27 states currently allow students to count computer science courses toward high school graduation.
In an era where computers, smart devices and apps are ubiquitous and jobs in the technology sector are abundant, the push for STEM makes sense.
“High quality school STEM education is critically important for Australia’s productivity and economic wellbeing, both now and into the future,” Christopher Pyne said in a statement.