The UK’s Royal Society has urged the government to spend more money on computer education over the next five years in order to “unlock the full potential of new technologies”. It said that spending would need to increase by ten times current levels because its findings revealed that a significant proportion (54%) of secondary schools did not even offer GCSE computer science lessons during 2015-16.
The Department of Education said that more and more people are deciding to take the class due to the increase in jobs in the field. However, the report found that it was difficult to find skilled teachers and therefore more money would have to be spent.
A government spokesman commented on the report, saying:
“We want to ensure our future workforce has the skills we need to drive the future productivity and economy of this country and that is why the government made computing a compulsory part of the national curriculum. Computer science GCSE entries continue to rise more quickly than any other subject. We recently saw an increase in entries to STEM subjects for the English Baccalaureate and the number of girls taking STEM subjects at A-levels has increased by over 17% since 2010.”
The spokesperson went on to explain that £5 million has been pledged to the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science programme which has currently built up a national network of 400 specialists in computer science. Schools can utilize their expertise in order to provide training for their own teachers.
Until a few years ago, most ICT courses still had a heavy focus on learning to use tools in the Microsoft Office suite. Some courses were available which delved deeper into systems which would give some education into operating systems, and there were other courses which touched upon website design too, but focus solely on coding has been lacking until very recently.
Source: BBC News