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Creating a code-literate next generation is a challenge facing all D5 countries. In the future, we need to be creating not simply consuming our IT. The need is even more pressing for the next generation who, having grown up surrounded by wi-fi and smartphones, really are the technology generation.
2. Progress on teaching children to code
This year, England became the first country in the world to mandate teaching coding to children at primary and secondary schools. The new computing curriculum emphasises computer science, including how computers work and the basics of programming. It encourages pupils to design computer programs to address real world problems. It is compulsory in all maintained schools from ages 5 to 16.
Learn how the BBC is teaching children to code.
In Estonia schools have been teaching children to code in primary schools since the 1990s.
2.3 New Zealand
New Zealand has introduced a set of Digital Technology Guidelines to provide a coherent approach to teaching digital technology in secondary schools. The New Zealand government is also investing in a series of graduate ICT training schools to transition tertiary students into the workforce.
Israel undertook a major review of computing at school in the 1990s and now has the most rigorous computer science high school programme in the world.
Korea’s high school curriculum includes some computer science and they offer an online optional course which does not increase the burden on the high school curriculum.
3. Discussion points
- lessons learned from teaching children to code - is simply changing the curriculum enough?
- how to improve training and support to give teachers the skills to teach and inspire children
- connecting teaching with industry to facilitate such a cultural change
- how to ensure a good gender balance and encourage girls into tech roles