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Schools are 20 years behind on ICT teaching says the IET

13 August 2012

A leading UK expert on information and communications technology (ICT) claims that the teaching of ICT in England and Wales is 20 years out of date.

Dr Mike Short
Dr Mike Short

As a result a whole generation has been lost who could have designed the systems of the future, he says.

Mike Short, president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said: “Whilst the current generation, often referred to as the ‘Net Generation’, are heavy users of ICT in their social interaction, very few have been taught how to understand, design and build upon the technology that underpins most of our daily lives.

“The current school ICT syllabus is not appropriate for the digital generation since it does not equip our young people to be able to understand or compete in the modern world,” says Dr Short. “There is an urgent need for school to be teaching the current generation Computer Science as a subject in schools in order that our future work force is equipped to design, build and maintain the next generation of infrastructure, systems and products, all of which require elements of computer science and engineering, but also sufficiently qualified, experienced and informed to take advantage of the plentiful career opportunities within the digital and computing industries.”

The IET and many other professional bodies believe that ICT education is in a dire situation which is already posing a risk to the UK and its globally competitive position.

Dr Short continued: “One of the side effects of this poor teaching has been to grow generations of students who, though avid users of technology, have absolutely no insight into how modern ICT systems work.”

To help remedy the situation, the IET has joined forces with the Computing at Schools Group to build on the success they have achieved so far in the promotion of teaching Computer Science.

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