Schools should introduce computer games in class to update the IT curriculum and help drive young people into IT careers, according to experts.
The Council of Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) have released a report claiming the IT curriculum is preventing IT industry growth and should be changed to be made more relevant to school children. This includes teaching computer principles relating to computer games.
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"The current curriculum concentrates on word processing and office productivity tools, but fails to educate students about the vital computing principles which underpin games and internet services," said the CIHE in its report.
Bill Mitchell, director of the BCS academy for computing and member of the CIHE report task force, said: "For many years the emphasis has been on training children how to use technology. But they also need to understand computing. Learning about Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel are all important but if that's all children learn about, they will get bored. Computer games are incredibly motivational and embody the fundamental principles of computing."
There has been growing concern about IT education from industry experts as the drop in numbers of young people taking IT-related courses looks set to fall short of demand for IT skills.
The Department of Education said it is reviewing the curriculum. "The new government has come in and feel [the curriculum] is restrictive and isn't teaching kids what they need for the real world," said a spokesman.