There's one thing I can promise you about the space program. Your tax dollars will go further. - Wernher Von Braun
THE UK Education Secretary announced today that Computer Science will be included in the English Baccalaureate, or EBacc, as the country looks to expand its IT skills.
Education Secretary Michael Gove is backing the addition because of the importance of computer science. According to the Department of Education (DoE), increased IT skills are good for education and the economy.
Last Summer the government announced that it was going to remove IT from the curriculum for two years. Then the Corporate IT Forum Education and Skills Commission lamented the news, but acknowledged that the existing IT curriculum was failing to meet the needs of employers.
Computer science will be added to the list of science options in the EBacc, bringing them up to four. Any pupil that sits three of the four examinations and gets at least a C grade in two of them will fulfill the EBacc science requirement.
This coincides with Alan Turing's centenary, and the DoE said that it was a good way to inject some of his genius into the country again.
"We need to bring computational thinking into our schools. Having Computer Science in the EBacc will have a big impact on schools over the next decade. It will mean millions of children learning to write computer code so they are active creators and controllers of technology instead of just being passive users," said a Department for Education spokesperson.
"It will be great for education, great for the economy, and will help restore the spirit of Alan Turing and make Britain a world leader again."
This has been a pretty good week for UK IT skills education, and earlier Google was behind gifting 15,000 Raspberry Pi computers into schools.
"It is great news that Google is helping the brilliant Raspberry Pi project. We are replacing the old-fashioned ICT curriculum with a Computer Science curriculum," said Gove about that event.
"This will combine with the Raspberry Pi project to spread teaching of computer coding which is so educationally and economically vital."
Google said that the announcement, "Marks a significant further investment in the next generation of British computer scientists." µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ