Prime Minister Tony Abbott made an embarrassing back-peddle during question time on Wednesday after seemingly ridiculing his own government’s investment in technology education.
During question time on Thursday, Labor leader Bill Shorten asked the Prime Minister whether he would support coding being taught in every primary and secondary school.
Mr Abbott approached the question with gusto.
“Let’s just understand exactly what the Leader of the Opposition has asked,” the Prime Minister said.
“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?”
But Mr Abbott failed to remember his government had already invested $3.5 million in the coding across the curriculum package.
While the program does not make coding compulsory, it will develop a suite of resources that support and promote best practice teaching across different year levels, including primary schools, Fairfax Media reported.
The Prime Minister quickly tried to backtrack, telling question time, “We are doing it Madam Speaker, we are doing it”.
During question time on Thursday Mr Abbott danced around his comments from the previous day.
“It’s now on the curriculum at every level and it’s backed up by money which this Government has committed,” he said.
“If the leader of the opposition ever did his homework as opposed to going out there with stunt after stunt, political ploy after political ploy, he would have known that.”
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has previously said coding should be taught to children as young as five or six.
By learning how to write code students will be able to form the foundations of computer language enabling them to tell programs how to operate.