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Judith today met with representatives from across the education and industry sectors to explore concerns and difficulties surrounding Computer Science Education in Northern Ireland. The Computing at Schools (CAS) working group, composed of teaching staff from several secondary schools, departmental staff from Queens and the University of Ulster, and representatives from the British Computer Society, seeks to promote and develop the teaching of computer science at school.
Their motivation is founded upon concerns students are being "turned off" computer science by the notion that the subject is dull and pedestrian. This view arises because of the content of many school ICT courses that are simply focused on office-applications software.
CAS works at many levels, such as:
Following her discussions with the group, Judith said "I firmly believe that with the logic skills that are required for computer science and the potential job opportunities that are available in this industry, we should be doing all that we can to support and encourage our young people to think seriously about Computing as a study option and as a career. Further to this, I believe our education system, from primary right through to university, has a vital role to play and therefore we need a cohesive strategy and curriculum if we wish for our young people to be fully engaged and prepared in such a technological age".