Are coding classes beneficial for pre-schoolers?

Some say coding is basic digital literacy; others say problem-solving concepts more important

Melissa Wong with her brother (foreground) and teacher Juliana Ung, founder of LCCL Coding Academy. At just four years old, Melissa is already able to write basic programs. During a coding class for pre-schoolers, she came up with 14 codes comprising
Melissa Wong with her brother (foreground) and teacher Juliana Ung, founder of LCCL Coding Academy. At just four years old, Melissa is already able to write basic programs. During a coding class for pre-schoolers, she came up with 14 codes comprising seven commands each, in 40 minutes. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Avery Woo Jia Nui (left) and Connor Lee Cher Yee, both four, are taking part in a coding programme at Saturday Kids coding school titled "Curious Cubs: Explore the Wonders of Tech". The children are coding and learning how to operate PETS, a friendly
Avery Woo Jia Nui (left) and Connor Lee Cher Yee, both four, are taking part in a coding programme at Saturday Kids coding school titled "Curious Cubs: Explore the Wonders of Tech". The children are coding and learning how to operate PETS, a friendly Japanese wooden robot that teaches the basics of computer programming. ST PHOTO: SAHIBA CHAWDHARY
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It is expected that children between four and five years old would meet some developmental milestones, such as the ability to recognise a few letters in the alphabet or follow short instructions.

But at just four years old, Melissa Wong is already able to write basic programs. At a coding class for pre-schoolers at LCCL Coding Academy last Tuesday, she came up with 14 codes comprising seven commands each, in 40 minutes.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2019, with the headline Are coding classes beneficial for pre-schoolers?. Subscribe