UK video game trade group UKIE has called on the British government to include computer science as a major part of the National Curriculum, saying that it is integral to the future growth of the country’s high tech industries and the game industry.
The National Curriculum is currently under general review and UKIE is doing its best to put its two cents in by making its own submission. The group says that computer science should be taught as a standalone subject available to all children beginning in grade school. Current curriculum focuses on using existing software packages and does not offer solutions that teach software creation or any programming skills.
UKIE’s recommendations point to the Livingstone Hope review, which also called for sweeping changes to the way computing subjects are taught in schools. UKIE says that the current skills gap is bad for the video games industry and any business that have computer technology skills at its core.
"Our children are surrounded by computers at school, in the playground and at home. You would be forgiven for thinking that computers are the one thing that no modern pupil is missing out on," said UKIE board member and Eidos Interactive life president Ian Livingstone. "But you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, the narrowness of how we teach children about computers risks creating a generation of digital illiterates, and starving some of the UK’s most successful industries of the talent they need to thrive."
"Putting computer science in the National Curriculum will have a powerful effect: it will end the isolation of computers – the defining technological force of the new century – in a strange quasi-vocational educational ghetto, and instead will prepare our pupils for some of the UK’s most successful growth industries, especially the digital and creative industries," he added.
We will see if the government listens.