Government agrees computer classes need reform

The Next Gen report makes it clear that current ICT isn't good enough
Darren Allan

November 28, 2011

The government has come out and said that today’s ICT classes need attention to make them more relevant to actual coding employment.

This revelation comes in response to the ‘Next Gen’ report, which looked at how computing was taught in schools and was critical of the approach. The report was written up by prominent gaming figure Ian Livingstone.

Livingstone is worried that current ICT classes don’t teach nearly enough to enable the next generation coming through to be able to retain the UK’s current track record in video game development and programming.

That’s mainly because unlike when we were younger, and you had to actually sit down at a BBC Micro and write programs, all ICT classes cater for these days is the teaching of how to use software packages.

Hence core programming skills are being neglected, something which the government recognises.

According to a BBC report, the government admitted that ICT was “insufficiently rigorous and in need of reform”.

Ed Vaizey also noted that: “We need to invest in talent that will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of games creativity.”

Some twenty suggested courses of action were mentioned in Livingstone’s report to help get computer education back on track, which the government is bearing in mind as it considers reform options.

But concrete details of exactly what will happen when it comes to the computing syllabus remain predictably vague at this stage.

Still, at least the problem – which many have been complaining about for some time now – has been recognised, and that’s the first step.

Maybe while they’re at it, the government can bring spelling and basic mental arithmetic back as matters of importance to the core syllabus.


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