The New Zealand Computer Society (NZCS) today congratulated the National Party on the high prioritisation given to Computing and ICT in their Schools Policy. The policy document, released today, includes provision for US$500m of additional capital spending in schools, with ICT infrastructure listed as one of the priorities, as well as a commitment to new Computing (and Business) Achievement Standards. 'This now means that both major parties support the provision of Computing Achievement Standards, which is very significant,' NZCS Chief Executive Paul Matthews said today.
Earlier this year NZCS released a report reviewing the current state of ICT-related NCEA Achievement Standards in schools. The highly detailed report, reviewed by a team of 13 senior ICT academics and professionals, found that none of the standards were suitable and recommended they be urgently reviewed and replaced. The Ministry of Education responded by announcing an intention to review the existing standards and create a full set of 'Digital Technologies Achievement Standards' over the next 2 years, and Education Minister Hon Chris Carter has supported this. However Matthews said 'the fact that one of the major parties have now recognised how important this significant area of concern is, to the extent of listing it in their core Schools Policy Document, is extremely encouraging.'