Teachers Not Sufficiently Trained for New Coding Classes
Teachers Not Sufficiently Trained for New Coding Classes
  • 김은서 기자
  • 승인 2018.09.03 09:00
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The Korean Ministry of Education introduced obligatory coding classes for the first time in 2018, but there have been problems.

Yoon Jeung-hyun, head of the Yoon Economic Research Institute, said "Our education has access to software and there is no philosophy on what to teach in school. If we continue our text-oriented education, the future is uncertain".

Korean coding education is simply learning a computer language such as ‘C’ and ‘JAVA’, which powers many high-tech devices. It's a growing source of employment, so the Ministry of Education wants to train students for the high-tech industry.

Unfortunately, this education has not been properly implemented as coding teachers often lack sufficient in-service training . Some private institutions have opened to offer coding certificates. But so far, there are no uniform standards. As a result, coding classes are less skills-based so students imitate what a teacher has coded. Because of this, parents spend extra money for coding classes at private academies.

Unlike Korea, coding education is prevalent in the U.S. and England. The U.S. has already announced the Hour of Code campaign, the K-12 Computer Science Standards, in 2011. The state of Arkansas has made it mandatory to include classes in high school subjects, while the states of Washington, Texas, and Kentucky have chosen it instead of second foreign languages.

Under the slogan "No coding means no national future," the U.K. provides it from the age of 5, and software education is required for elementary and secondary education courses. In addition, over 1,500 schools teach "computing" to students aged 5 to 16 through after-school coding programs.

Special schools in Korea have offered coding education since 2016, which is where the deficiencies in coding curricula first surfaced. Until now, there are no publicly funded in-service training opportunities for Korean public school teachers.

Korean students receive 34 hours of software classes per year, but most experts say the number of hours must increase. Specialty schools such as Gillum Middle School (144 Gillum-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul) offer more than 68 hours of coding classes annually. The school is said to be learning the function of the first semester and fully focusing on the project class in the second semester because it cannot teach the project if it takes only 34 hours.

To meet the shortfall, institutions such as the Daejeon Education Information Institute will offer more programs beginning in 2019. Then more teachers in the region will be able to receive in-service coding training.

Meanwhile, Koreans will continue to devote more hours to playing computer games rather than developing computer games.

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