This morning Education Minister Hekia Parata announced that “digital technology is to be formally integrated into the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa”. In her announcement she said that the change “will ensure that we have an education system that prepares children and young people for a future where digital fluency will be critical for success”.
The study of digital technologies and computational thinking will be expanded in the curriculum from senior secondary (where it currently resides) right down to Year 1. It will not, however, become a separate subject and looks like it will continue to be taught alongside vocational subjects such as hard materials, food technology and textiles (the old woodwork, metalwork, cooking and sewing).
She made her announcement at the NZTech Advance Education Technology Summit taking place in Auckland today. NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller took a diplomatic approach to the announcement: “NZTech is excited the Government is adding a digital tech section across all streams of curricula. This is a great step forward, but it is only the first step.”
Muller also said he looks forward to hearing how the government plans to invest in supporting teachers and school leaders so they have the skills and resources to prepare the future workforce. “The aspirational aim is to have all NZ schools able to offer digital technologies to all students by 2018,” he added.
The announcement has provoked a strong reaction from other members of the tech sector, who are not best pleased with the lack of urgency and progress.