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Digital revolution slowed by standards –PPTA

Digital revolution slowed by standards –PPTA

At a time when ICT skills are in high demand, the absence of meaningful computing standards shows a failure to recognise our best and brightest students, PPTA president Robin Duff says.

This follows a highly critical report released today by the New Zealand Computer Society which describes the current technology achievement standards as vague and unsuitable when it comes to attracting students into computing.

The report, which was commissioned by the society and written by NZCS representatives Gordon Grimsey and Margot Phillipps, states that none of the 18 technology achievement standards it reviewed were appropriate to assess computing or computer science at secondary school level. Achievement Standards are registered on the National Qualifications Framework and contribute to National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) of secondary school students throughout New Zealand.

It concluded that computing needs a curriculum and its own purpose designed achievement standards.

“Computing teachers should not have to cobble together a course assessment from a random collection of unsuitable standards”, it reads.

Mr Duff said the report’s findings backed up what the PPTA had been saying for a long time.

“Without computing standards that properly encourage out best and brightest, we have a long way to go before we can consider ourselves part of the digital revolution”, Mr Duff said.

“We have been raising this issue for quite some time, but the Ministry has continued to drag the chain,” he said.

The good news is the Ministry of Education appears to have come to the party, after acknowledging late last week that “the knowledge and skills associated with Computer Science in particular were not being met by the current Unit or Achievement Standards” and pledging to review and replace them.

“We are very pleased progress is being made and look forward to a speedy resolution. “The issue is urgent because, the way things are now, high performing computing students are not receiving the encouragement they deserve,” Mr Duff said.

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