Future of IT

25th April 1997 at 01:00
As a computing studies teacher I must disagree with the view (TESS, April 11) that information technology should be lumped in with computing as a single subject. I have found over the years that the take-up for computing studies is excellent in the school I work in, but the interest wanes significantly when it comes to Higher. Generally pupils regard the current Higher as difficult and this view might also affect take up for computing in the new Higher Still set-up.

However, the introduction of information systems which I dislike as a title, preferring information technology, could be a best seller if and only if whatever political party wins the next general election puts the necessary money into information technology.

I am prepared to undertake the new course because I think it has great possibilities providing training and support are in place. There must be no cheapskating. With the correct support this could be a golden opportunity to take Scottish education forward into the next century, providing the best possible opportunities for youngsters.

Therefore I do not think the course should be condemned as a safe haven for FE. With support it is possible to do it and to do it well in the schools. There is no room for complacency about the resourcing, but for one. I would welcome IT and I hope it does succeed as it can help to satisfy the aspirations of more youngsters than just computing alone.

Finally I think that the critics of the new course should concentrate their efforts not on griping about the changes but concentrating on the adequate resourcing of both computing and IT as well as actively campaigning to ensure that all computing departments have a principal teacher.

It is a disgrace that the subject area that generates the most wealth in Scotland should be subsumed into departments such as business studies and many computing teachers are running a department as well as a computer network and only getting the salaries of assistant principal teachers.

ED ARCHER Hope Street, Lanark

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