Science stays under-resourced

8th December 2000 at 00:00
I AGREE that many science schools present "a Victorian image of the 21st century" ("Science is failing", TESS, December 1). Science departments have certainly failed to keep up with the times in terms of information and communications technology.

The question is, who is to blame? Science departments, like other departments with a lot of hardware, survive on a fraction of the money required even to maintain existing equipment.

School managers generally distribute money equitably, but demand always outstrips supply.

The departments which have done well recently in terms of ICT are those whose Higher Still courses made computers and up to date technology a requirement for the course to rn.

In science it was an afterthought and one which never carried the desired weight. So still we have students laughing at our BBC computers.

It is with dismay that I now read that the new 5-14 guidelines have not addressed this problem either.

The original consultation draft had the use of computers built into the course guidelines. This has now been watered down so that again it is a recommendation.

Staff are being trained in the use of the Internet and this brings great promise. But this will remain unfulfilled as long as we sit with one PC and totally inadequate funding to harness the potential of modern ICT equipment.

Finlay Rush

Lathro Park

Kinross


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