Review of the Australian Curriculum

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By Michael Hilkemeijer

Upon reading the press release from the Australian Council for Computers in Education, the national professional body for computers in education, I was shocked to learn that once again the Australian government took a back step into the past by keeping our curriculum priorities in 19th and 201th century. I am sorry, but I truly believed that we do live in the 21st century now. 

As a member of industry and professional groups such as those mentioned in the press release by ACCE (QSITE, ACS, AIIA), I agree on the reply given by the ACCE in relation to the Australian Curriculum. It is sad  to learn that the Australian government does not take Digital Technologies seriously enough to be able to make it a core subject like Mathematics, Science and English. ICT is the core of the entire economy these days and if students are to be the future knowledge workers, then they need to well prepared to do so. 

As for the overcrowding of the primary curriculum. Research shows that it is important to develop ICT capabilities early in students and the best time for this to occur is in the primary curriulum.

The government seems to be all about pushing technologies into schools and letting everyone know how great it is. However, you can send truck loads of this but in the end if there is not enough support for students and teachers, then it is just a great waste of resources. 

Is it unfair to say that the government is out of touch with its own economical needs? No. With more businesses, industries and organisations depending on ICTs, a fact emphasised in the 2000 report by UNESCO, the government has turned a blind eye towards it and not listened to the industry groups that are at the forefront of this change.

Australian students are now faced with the problem of being behind other countries such as the UK and USA in terms of technological innovation. These countries, as stated by the ACCE have already made the teaching of the computer discipline a national priority.

In the 21st century, an era where economies depend on schools to fuel its growth and development, the position of the ACCE that the teaching of computers be made a core subject is strongly supported. The ACCE also believed that this should be carried across all levels of schooling. Unless this takes place, the economical future of Australia will suffer as a result of the government;'s out of touch views.

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