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NZCS Encouraged by School ICT Policy

NZCS Encouraged by School ICT Policy

PRESS RELEASE – NZ Computer Society Inc. (NZCS)
2 November 2008
For Immediate Release

The New Zealand Computer Society (NZCS) today congratulated the National Party on the high prioritisation given to Computing and ICT in their Schools Policy.

The policy document, released today, includes provision for $500M of additional capital spending in schools, with ICT infrastructure listed as one of the priorities, as well as a commitment to new Computing (and Business) Achievement Standards.

“This now means that both major parties support the provision of Computing Achievement Standards, which is very significant”, NZCS Chief Executive Paul Matthews said today.

Earlier this year NZCS released a report reviewing the current state of ICT-related NCEA Achievement Standards in schools. The highly detailed report, reviewed by a team of 13 senior ICT academics and professionals, found that none of the standards were suitable and recommended they be urgently reviewed and replaced.

The Ministry of Education responded by announcing an intention to review the existing standards and create a full set of ‘Digital Technologies Achievement Standards’ over the next 2 years, and Education Minister Hon Chris Carter has supported this.

However Matthews said “the fact that one of the major parties have now recognised how important this significant area of concern is, to the extent of listing it in their core Schools Policy Document, is extremely encouraging”.

“ICT is widely regarded as underpinning a country’s economic development, and it’s essential that New Zealand and New Zealanders aren’t disadvantaged internationally due to deficiencies in the ICT infrastructure, curriculum or assessments at school level”, Matthews said.

“Unfortunately New Zealand is significantly behind most other developed countries in this area, and the fact that both major parties have indicated they will address this is significant”, Matthews said.

“NZCS looks forward to working with the government to urgently address these very important issues, regardless of the result on November 8th”, Matthews concluded.

ENDS


More Information

NZCS Achievement Standards Report: http://www.nzcs.org.nz/news/uploads/PDFs/200805NCEAReport.pdf

National Party Schools Policy:
http://national.org.nz/files/2008/schools_policy.pdf

Labour Party Education Policy:
http://www.labour08.co.nz/policies/Education/School+and+Pre-School

About the NZ Computer Society

NZCS is the professional body of ICT professionals in New Zealand, and works with industry, academia, Government and the wider community to achieve its mission of increasing the standards and professionalism of the NZ ICT industry via a range of initiatives.

The Society’s membership includes a large number of ICT professionals, as well as corporate partnership with New Zealand’s leading organisations – both ICT companies and other organisations who are serious about the development of their ICT staff.

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