Apple CEO Tim Cook has a message for school students around the world: learning how to code is more important than learning English as a second language.

In France for a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron, Cook said coding is the ‘language that everyone needs’ and reiterated his belief that it should be taught in all primary schools around the world.

“If I were a French student and I were 10 years old, I think it would be more important for me to learn coding than English. I’m not telling people not to learn English in some form – but I think you understand what I am saying is that this is a language that you can [use to] express yourself to seven billion people in the world,” Cook said in an interview with Konbini.

“I think that coding should be required in every public school in the world.”

“It’s not just for the computer scientists. It’s for all of us,” says Cook.

It’s not the first time Cook has talked about the importance of coding in schools. In 2016, it was a key theme in his keynote address at the StartUp fest in Amsterdam while in June, he told President Donald Trump during a summit with prominent tech executives that young Americans needed to learn computer programming to address a “huge deficit in the skills that we need today.”

Cook was in France to talk with Macron on the issue of taxes for technology companies such as Apple, Facebook and Amazon. The two had met at the French presidential palace at the request of Cook.

Macron’s office said the two didn’t discuss past tax disputes, but Cook accepted that fiscal laws worldwide are shifting toward making companies pay tax where money is actually earned.

Apple officials in Paris didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Article Originally Published In: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/apple-chief-tim-cook-tells-students-learning-to-code-is-more-important-than-learning-english-as-a-second-language-20171012-gz07r5.html

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