The government is all set to make 2014 the “Year of Code,” with £500,000 in funding being put towards training teachers in coding.
This is part of a push by education secretary Michael Gove and chancellor George Osborne to introduce a new computing curriculum in September 2014. Coding will then be taught to every child from five through to sixteen, with the UK being the first major G20 country to take this step on a national level, the government boasts.
The Guardian reported that the curriculum itself has been designed with help from the British Computer Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, and some of the big tech giants such as Google and Microsoft. Other partners include the BBC and Wired.
The scheme’s £500,000 worth of funding will be used to employ businesses to bring in IT experts and train teachers in coding – with the idea being that the businesses put up some funding of their own, too.
Michael Gove said: “I want IT firms, university computing departments and software developers to use this fund to share their knowledge with the next generation.”
In a promotional video on the Year of Code website, Osborne said he didn’t want kids to “just know how to open up Word and PowerPoint,” but that they should “understand how those computer programs are put together, they [should] understand coding.”
Jimmy Wales (of Wikipedia fame) and Nick D'Aloisio (the youngster who created Summly) also chip in with their thoughts – take a look at the video here.
The campaign will host a series of events pre-September, with the first – a week-long coding exercise with every pupil getting a least one hour of coding tuition – set to kick off in March.