Education minister says children are "bored out of their minds" by the way technology is taught in schools
The Government is to scrap the "boring" ICT curriculum in English schools from September.
Speaking at the annual BETT education technology show today, education secretary Michael Gove, said the current curriculum was "harmful and dull" and children received an inadequate education in computing.
He went on to say that a revival in the kind of environment that fostered the work of people such as British computer pioneer Alan Turing was urgently needed.
The idea is to replace the teaching of basic computing tasks that many children are already familiar with, and replace this with an "open source" curriculum in computer science and programming. The aim is to give children compulsory lessons in computing science.
This will be designed with the help of universities and industry and introduce topics that move beyond basic computing skills
"Imagine the dramatic change which could be possible in just a few years, once we remove the roadblock of the existing ICT curriculum. Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word or Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations," Gove said.
The news has been welcomed by many experts in the computing industry who last year submitted a report to the Government about what they felt was the poor standard of ICT teaching in English schools.
The NextGen report found the teaching of technology in schools was poor. At the time Google chairman Eric Schmidt called for ICT to be made a compulsory subject at GCSE level.
Paul Smith, chief executive of Cisco said: "I welcome the move from Michael Gove regarding the need to rethink the way that ICT is taught in schools in Britain.
"Young people today have a relationship with technology and an affinity for computers and IT which is unique and vastly different to any other generation."
The Government will launch a consultation on its plans next week.The Royal Society will also issue a report into the teaching of technology in schools tomorrow.
The Royal Society will also publish a report into ICT education in schools tomorow. Shut down or Restart: The way forward for Computing in UK schools report is the culimnation of an 18 month study
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