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European Commission wants to shake up IT teaching

Schools should have level playing fields
Fri Apr 19 2013, 14:33
European commission

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) is telling us that it is imperative that Information Communication Technology (ICT) is taught at schools and is taught well.

The EC has just completed a study of how ICT is taught across its member states. It is a mixed bag that has an assortment of findings.

In its study the EC found that most teachers recommended a "radical policy change", adding that there are still a large number of students with restricted access to computers and ICT equipment.

"ICT skills and training must be available to all students and teachers, not just a lucky few," said Neelie Kroes, European Commission VP for the digital agenda. "We want our young people exposed to ICTs in school from the very beginning, and we want teachers who are confident to share their knowledge."

The EC report set up a benchmark of a "highly digitally-equipped schools", ones where there is recent equipment, 10Mbit/s connections, teacher and student email and LANs, and it found that only half of all 16 year olds were at one.

It said 20 percent of all students of secondary school age had apparently not been near a computer during their school day, and while most teachers used a computer at home they did not in the workplace.

"We need to invest more in the development and use of ICTs in schools," added Androulla Vassiliou, commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth.

"Europe will only resume sustained growth by producing highly skilled ICT graduates and workers who can contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship."

Earlier this year Google and the Raspberry Pi Foundation did their part in helping to increase an interest in technology from an early age.

Together they gifted 15,000 Raspberry Pi computers into the education system in the hope that they might create interests that will see some students through to computer science degrees. µ


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