Gove: 'Students studying ICT might as well learn to send a telex'
Michael Gove has branded teaching about word processing and spreadsheets in schools about as useful as making students learn "how to send a telex", despite the fact that tens of thousands of students currently study the subject.
The education secretary dismissed the previous ICT curriculum as being "obsolete", even though the most recent figures on the number of students sitting ICT at GCSE had gone up last year.
The comments have left experts concerned that the continuing attack on ICT by the politician has lumbered students with an effectively worthless qualification.
Back in 2012 the education secretary announced at the education technology show Bett that he was scrapping the existing ICT curriculum and would be replacing it with a new computer science curriculum.
And speaking at the same event in the east end of London on Wednesday, Mr Gove said that the new curriculum, due to be introduced in September, would put an end to students learning a "creaking" ICT curriculum.
"ICT used to be focused purely and narrowly on computer literacy; teaching pupils over and over again how to word process, how to work a spreadsheet, how to use programs that are already creaking into obsolescence," Mr Gove said.
"In many respects, it is about as useful as teaching a pupil how to send a telex or travel in a zeppelin. Now, our new curriculum will be teaching children computer science, information technology and digital literacy. it will teach them how to code, how to create their own computer programs and not just how to work a computer but how a computer works."