Education secretary Michael Gove has said that in order for future generations to call themselves educated, they will need to be able to code, as well as understand and influence technology.
His comments were made during a speech at Brighton College and come shortly after he revealed plans to scrap the old ICT curriculum and replace it with a newly reformed GCSE Computing qualification.
Gove said the old curriculum was ‘abolished’ because it was ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘boring’, and resulted in students who ‘speak fluent technology’ being taught to use applications that were becoming obsolete.
“So we have ditched it,” Gove said during his speech.
“And in its place we have asked teachers, tech experts and tech companies to draw up an alternative computer science curriculum which teaches children how to code – so they can design new applications instead of simply being asked to use tired old software.”
Thanks to a Fighting Fantasist
The education secretary also thanked the work of Ian Livinsgtone – life president of Eidos, the firm behind Tomb Raider, and the creator of the Fighting Fantasy choose-your-own-adventure books – the British Computer Society and teachers in helping with the reforms.
Gove finished by saying: “Technology will change our lives in ways we cannot anticipate in the years to come – and it will certainly transform teaching as the revolution in higher education is proving.
“But one thing we can be certain of is that the acquisition of coding skills, the ability to think computationally, and the creativity inherent in designing new programmes will help prepare all our young people better for the future.”
He added: “It will be impossible to call yourself educated in years to come unless you understand, and can influence, the changes technology brings.”
Gove belatedly added Computer Science to the EBacc qualification in January, but unlike the initial set of ‘core subjects’ (Maths, English, Biology, Physics and Chemistry), which are set to be reformed for teaching in 2015, GCSE Computing will be delayed for at least a further 12 months.