We actually started with Pascal back in the day.
Pascal was partially built to demonstrate the best programming techniques and practices which made it a good candidate for training. However, lots of modern languages are C-based. The syntax differences (plus its procedural approach) are not necessarily as applicable for young students trying to learn the ropes.
This is why C is the common starting language in schools and colleges.
Personally, I don’t think Python would be an ideal starting choice for replacing the C Programming syllabus in schools.
- A lot of the complex programming concepts are hidden behind facades.
- The concept of a strongly-typed language would be lost.
- It isn’t that easy if you account for all the libraries a student needs to study (when compared to C’s standard library.
- C (or C++) is still used in practice, too. This is especially true for embedded, low-level programming, telecoms, banks, the internals of frameworks, game engines, and whatnot.
Python is a good secondary language, although I’d consider it against Java for a second language taught at schools.