Tech industry backs school changes
Bosses are voicing their encouragement for the Government to go ahead with proposed changes to make the entire school curriculum more technology focused.
Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced the draft curriculum, Digital Technologies-Hangarau Matihiki, on Wednesday morning, which recommended school students from year 1 to year 10 undertake digital technology learning.
The new curriculum would include NCEA subjects that cover computational thinking, designing and developing digital content.
Paul Matthews, chief executive of technology group IT Professionals, said he welcomed what could be a ‘‘groundbreaking’’ change to education.
‘‘This is not just about changes to a curriculum, but about positioning New Zealand at the forefront of today’s digital world and equipping students with the skills they need to not just survive, but truly thrive as they navigate through it,’’ Matthews said.
Retail software company Vend’s founder, Vaughan Rowsell, said the proposal was a ‘‘great move’’.
He said his extracurricular technology workshop for primary and intermediate school children, OMGTech, was already helping to shape a digitally savvy curriculum. But he wanted to see schools adapt faster, Rowsell said.
Kaye’s announcement referred to the growing number of technology jobs that needed to be filled by the future workforce.
‘‘Our curriculum needs to keep pace with this fast-changing world. The new curriculum content sets out what students need to learn to become not just fluent users but also skilled creators of digital innovations and inventions,’’ Kaye said.
BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope also welcomed the $40 million government funding package that would accompany the new curriculum to prepare the employees of the future.
‘‘Business today has a great need for employees with up-to-date digital skills, and future business development will depend even more on these skills,’’ Hope said.
Vend founder Vaughan Rowsell welcomes the Government’s digital technology curriculum proposal.