Starting in September of 2014, for children in the UK ages 5 to 14, there will be a significant change in their education; the addition of rigorous computer science programs. This isn’t too shocking because when the personal computer revolution started, the BBC was promoting its own computer and making programs about learning to program.
After the initial buzz about the computer revolution was over, Britain took a step back and only focused on Information Communications Technology (ICT) in school. The reason being that most people argued that children didn’t need to know the back-end computer knowledge, only how to work one. This is when students began learning Windows programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel. There were some speculations that the real reason students weren’t learning to program is because it was too difficult to find teachers to teach the high-level subject.
Well, times have changed again and ICT is out and new computer sciences courses are in. According to the Education Secretary Michael Gove, “Our school system has not prepared children for this new world. Millions have left school over the past decade without even the basics they need for a decent job. And the current curriculum cannot prepare British students to work at the very forefront of technological change.”
He went on to say, “The best degrees in Computer Science are among the most rigorous and respected qualifications in the world… and prepare students for immensely rewarding careers and world-changing innovations. But you’d never know that from the current ICT curriculum.”
A great thing about this change is the example it’s setting. This huge shift in education is showing others the importance of computer programming. It’s also showing the need to prepare students for the real-word at a young age. Of course there are some worries as part of this new program, including the lack of teachers with expertise. There are programs through the education department and British Computer Science to help get new teachers to teach programming, but it might not be enough. Many teachers will have to be retrained.
Overall, this is opening worlds of opportunities for young people in Britain, which is always a positive thing. For more information on this new curriculum, contact Atlas Consulting today.