Minister hails importance of computing at school
The Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert, has outlined the importance to the economy of developing computer skills amongst young people.
Speaking at the Computing At School conference for teachers in Swansea on Friday, 1 July 2001, he said: “I want to make sure that all learners in Wales have access to digital technologies and that they have the skills to make the best use of them. We want learners to fulfil their potential and Wales to prosper in a digital society.
As ICT is increasingly a part of life outside of school, so it should be regarded as an everyday part of life within school. We need to have high expectations of what learners can achieve.”
Mr Cuthbert also praised the Technocamps project for engaging young people with technology and computing.
Led by Swansea University in partnership with the Universities of Bangor, Aberystwyth and Glamorgan, Technocamps is backed by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government and will focus on a range of topics including robotics, games and software development; as well as animation and digital forensics.
He said: “It is vital that we encourage young people to engage with STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, so I was delighted by the setting up of Technocamps. Solving real problems can give learners opportunities to develop STEM literacy.
“The use of ICT in schools has developed significantly over the past decade, but there is still more to do. We all need to encourage learners to develop the higher level technology skills which will provide valuable opportunities for them, and will help grow Wales’ digital economy.”
Mr Cuthbert was speaking at the first teachers’ conference in Wales led by Computing At School (CAS) and supported by Technocamps which addressed how to enhance the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum for a Digital Wales.
The conference provides teachers, examination boards, academics and policymakers with a forum to discuss issues surrounding computing education in Wales.
Vice Chancellor of Swansea University, Professor Richard B Davies, said: “We are delighted to host the first teachers’ conference on Computing in Wales. Technocamps the new £6million convergence project has joined forces with Computing at School (CAS) to highlight the importance of computing in schools.
Raising the aspirations of school children is a responsibility Swansea University relishes. It is particularly important to attract more young people to study science subjects. Without this, we cannot look forward in Wales to having a sustainable and vibrant knowledge economy.
“Computer Science in Swansea University has long been recognised for its excellent research and through the Technocamps project in conjunction with Computing at School we want to make teachers and pupils aware of the exciting career opportunities on offer.”
Notes for Editors:
Technocamps will establish a pan Wales programme of activities and workshops designed to raise awareness amongst pupils (11-19) of potential career opportunities available in a range of computer science, technology and engineering disciplines and encourage them to study STEM with a view to pursuing such opportunities. Visit: http://www.technocamps.com/ or www.itwales.com for more information.
The £3.2bn Structural Funds programmes 2007-2013 in Wales include the Convergence programmes for West Wales and the Valleys (the successor to Objective 1), and the Regional Competitiveness and Employment programmes for East Wales. The programmes are delivered through the Welsh Government and are aimed at creating employment opportunities and boosting economic growth.