The decline in Computing in schools

I was reading the news today on the BBC and noticed their article about the falling numbers in students completing the Computing qualification. It seems that in the last few years there has been a steady decline in the numbers of students completing this course.

It’s strange to think that when the Computing course was announced I was really pleased as there was nothing like that when I was a child. But try as I may I never managed to get either of my younger children interested in the subject. I managed to talk my older son into trying it but he was unprepared as it was the first year of the subject and he doesn’t have the background or aptitude to do a subject like this. I was secretly hoping my daughter would be interested but that didn’t happen either. 5 kids, I have raised and none of them has shown an interest growing up in ICT. Strange given growing up around it for so long.

Part of the problem was the phasing out of ICT to replace with Computing, this never made sense to me and although I argued it at my daughters’ school they are only following government syllabus. ICT and Computing are different parts of the same subject so it doesn’t make sense to be merging them. Kids need to know how to use general ICT but may not have any interest in media or programming. daft to force them down one route for this. The Computing qualification was put into place to try and help with the skills gap that was found in children, instead, we may end up with more kids only able to do the basics. Being able to play games and check email is not something that will allow them to step into the work environment and be able to function without investment in training. It seems like a step back for me…

Maybe it’s something that just needs some time to bed in, as the schools start introducing kids to programming earlier with things like scratch and the use of Raspberry Pi‘s this will be a course that is desirable once the kids are old enough to do options. The spread of code clubs and government investment in teaching the teachers about Computer Science may help.

We can only hope, otherwise, we will end up with a bigger skills gap than the Computing course was meant to help relieve.

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