Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation figures show that fewer students have been taking computer science as GCSE, concerning ICT experts.
According to the British Computing Society, the number of children studying for a computing qualification could halve by 2020.
A new ICT course has taken over the old ICT course, with more rigorous computer science at GCSE level, which teaches ‘little more than how to use Microsoft Office’, according to critics.
Figures from Ofqual have fallen slightly, showing exam entries rising to 67,800 this year from 61,220 in 2016; with 58,600 students still taking the exam.
‘Disaster for the future nation’
“If we don’t act now by 2020 we are likely to see the number of students studying computing at GCSE halve, when it should be doubling. If that happens, it will be a disaster for our children, and the future of the nation,” says Bill Mitchell from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
Professional IT bodies believe this could be a ‘disaster for the economy’, with the British Computing Society noting that when ICT disappears, the computer science exam will fail to fill the gap.
“The current GCSE in computer science has replaced the opportunities for creativity that existed in ICT with set programming tasks that have very few solutions,” added Drew Buddie, the Head of Computing at a London school.
Drew Buddie also noted that ICT has always been misrepresented, as it’s more creative than critics assume and girls in particular aren’t interested.
Written from source by Leah Alger