A KIRKLEES teacher has launched a petition to keep Information Communications Technology (ICT) lessons in the classroom.
Aleks Lukic, an ICT and computer science teacher at Heckmondwike Grammar School, already has more than 9,000 signatures supporting his official parliament petition to keep the subjects on the GCSE and A Level syllabus from 2017.
It comes after Nick Gibb, the Minister of State for Schools, revealed in a one-line statement on page 11 of a document published last month that he had decided to cut it.
The revelation was buried within a report that announced the opening of a public consultation to talk about the reform of certain GCSE and A Level subjects and means that students will only be able to take computer science as a GCSE and A Level.
Mr Lukics said it could leave students without “important skills” and noted on his petition page that in 2015, some 111,934 pupils sat the GCSE ICT, while sitting computer science GCSE numbered 35,414.
Mr Lukics, who will get a formal response to his petition if it reaches 10,000 signatures, said: “His announcement crept through, he didn’t announce it with a fanfare.
“The problem is that ICT and computer science are very distinct and offer different skills.
“ICT focuses on how we use technology in the world and teaches pupils business-oriented skills such as website design, data management and how to model their business through spreadsheets.
“Computer science is the study of how computers work in terms of hardware and coding.”
“There’s a lot going to be lost and I want to know more about their internal consultation process that led to this decision.
“Some students do not want to study computer science but will lose the opportunities to learn these valuable skills and gain the qualifications at the same time.
“Some will be able to still study ICT at a vocational level but with the Government’s push towards studying GCSEs they may not hold the same weight.
“It will also affect ICT teachers but I’m not sure if it will lead to job losses.
“I hope this petition will at least raise awareness and provoke a debate on the issue and hopefully if it gets 10,000 signatures will provide people with more information as to why it was cut.”
To sign the petition, search for Department for Education: Don’t scrap GCSE and A level ICT on petition.parliament.uk