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Missed opportunity in school curriculum changes

Missed opportunity for New Zealand in school curriculum
changes to Digital Technology

6th July

“It is disappointing to have waited so long for so little.” That is the reaction from Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae to the changes announced to the subject Digital Technology in the school curriculum today.

“After six years of waiting, a 12 month review process, and seven months of deliberation by Minister Hekia Parata and her Ministry, all there is to show for it are some minor changes, including a pledge for more consultation,” Mr McCrae says.

“What the tech industry asked for is Digital Technology to be separated from woodwork, metalwork, cookery and sewing and to become a separate learning area. That hasn’t happened.

“We said Digital Technology needed to become an academic subject on a par with maths and physics. That hasn’t happened.

“And we wanted a major change to the curriculum so that it actually taught secondary school students how to code, rather than how to create a powerpoint presentation. That hasn’t happened either.

“There were many other excellent recommendations made during the 12 month review which have all been ignored. This calls into question the point of any consultation.

“New Zealand requires an education system that can prepare our children for careers in the global market place. Technology is emerging as the number two export sector in this country and jobs in this sector are well paid and provide an exciting career path.

“Companies such as Orion Health, Xero and others, frequently have large recruitment drives and I would expect we will do so again soon. We struggle to find graduates in New Zealand with the right skill set, and are forced to look overseas to fill vacancies. The pipeline to more top computer science graduates begins at secondary school, when young people make subject choices that will influence their learning path. This situation has been repeatedly explained to the Ministry of Education over the last six years.

“The announcement today is a missed opportunity for New Zealand to lead the world as an innovative digital nation.”


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