Why ICT must be a key part of the school curriculum

I have just read a really interesting post by Dan Barker in the Huffington Post United Kingdom edition. The post is titled “Decline and Fall: The UK’s Shocking IT Education Record”. It follows the recent Ofsted report on ICT education in schools.

In the post, Barker, a professional software developer, bemoans the fact that U.K. schools have a terrible record when it comes to teaching ICT skills. In a telling phrase he states: “I left school in 2007. In my entire time at secondary school, I had around 30 hours of computer education, concentrated between the ages of 11 and 12. I was not offered computing as an option at either GCSE or A-Level. Looking back now, it’s only because of my learning outside of school that I can do my job today. In that regard, none of my formal education prepared me in any way for the bulk of what I do from day to day”.

This is a young I.T. professional who is only too aware of the place that ICT skills have in the current world economy. He bemoans the fact that he deals with school leavers who do not have basic skills in this key area of the curriculum. He is wiling to attack politicians for their lack of awareness of the importance of these skills in fitting a young person for the digital world that we all now live in.

His final paragraph is perhaps the most concerning for us:

“The good news is that the problem is apparently now moving up the political agenda, with Michael Gove, the education secretary, admitting recently that he thought that computer science needed to be taught more in schools. But with the great credit-funded consumer boom only just spluttering on as we stare into the precipice of what is widely predicted to be another recession, and with a record 1 million 16 to 24 year-olds unemployed, the uncomfortable question is: Is this too little, too late?”

I can only add to this that it is about time that those people who are discussing the curriculum in schools appreciated the need to get to grips with the use of technology in education and the need to allow children to train in the proficient use of this technology so that they have the key skills that are required in order to compete on a global scale in the 21st century.

About malbell

I am a retired Teaching and Learning Consultant. Previously I was a Primary school headteacher and deputy headteacher. I enjoy reading, doing MOOCs and learning new things.
This entry was posted in Digital Technology, The 21st Century school and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Why ICT must be a key part of the school curriculum

  1. I think the first step is to remove it as a subject in itself. I often felt the only time ICT was used when I was training in the UK was during ICT classes. ICT is paramount in every subject so it seems illogical to have it as a subject in its own right. A possible analogy is the fact that children in Ireland learn the Irish language for about an hour every day for 14 years, yet most of us come out of school with little to no skills in it. Because Irish is taught as a stand alone subject, it is rarely used in any other situation outside of the school lesson.


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