UK: School Children to Be Taught How to Write Software

UK: School Children to Be Taught How to Write Software
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An example to follow: “The British government has decided to start teaching pre-General Certificate of Secondary Education students how to write software as part of its effort to transform information technology (IT) education in schools. The decision follows years of criticism of the computer science curriculum in United Kingdom (U.K.) schools. A report from the U.K.’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills said the current IT curriculum was failing students by not making a clear distinction between the use of IT and IT as a career. “There’s going to be a live pilot over two terms in schools of a program that will transform the IT curriculum away from computer literacy, which we believe many young people can do earlier, towards instead how they develop software and computational principles; how they can create their own programs,” says UK science minister David Willetts. The initiative will be launched at 20 schools in England in November and run until June 2012.” (1)

“BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, welcomed the new initiative, which is being supported by employers including IBM, Capgemini, Cisco, HP, Logica, Microsoft, National Grid, SAS, Steria, TATA, John Lewis, the Metropolitan Police Service and the BBC.” (2)

“Take-up of IT qualifications has fallen in the past five years: a staggering 57 per cent decline between 2005 and 2010. Willetts said programming would become one of the 21st century’s most important skills: “I want to see the ability to create software, to write programmes, that is one of the key functional skills for the 21st century, and young people going through school, college and university should have the opportunity to generate those skills.”(3)


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