Tech in­dus­try backs school changes

Marlborough Express - - BUSINESS - MADI­SON REIDY

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.

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