Is coding more important than learning languages or English literature?

Written by: Emma Lee-Potter | Published:
Image: iStock

Nearly half of UK parents would prefer their children to learn how to code at school than get to grips with a foreign language.

A third say that digital skills are even more important for today’s children that studying English literature.
The findings are part of a new survey conducted by digital learning provider OpenClassrooms, which questioned more than 1,000 parents with children aged five to 18.

But despite parents’ support for coding they also deplore the negative influence of technology on their children.

Nine out of ten parents said they were concerned about the safety of their children online while 43 per cent reckoned their children spent more time on their devices than with them.

More than half of those questioned (54 per cent) worried that technological advances – particularly in automation and robotics – might lessen their children’s chances of future employment. This was their second most pressing concern after climate change.

Lorraine Thomas, founder of The Parent Coaching Academy, has worked with OpenClassrooms to develop a free online course to help parents understand the digital world their children inhabit.

“Most of the parents I work with find their teenagers’ digital world scary and unfamiliar,” she said. “They don’t understand what their teenagers are doing when they are on their devices.

“As parents, it is essential to create a strong, positive family ethos when it comes to technology. We need to be talking regularly to our children about the opportunities and risks that technology has brought into our lives.”


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