Governors from all 50 states in the United States have committed to funding a computer science curriculum at more schools after hundreds of executives such as the likes of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates sent a letter to them urging them to take action.
The effort, announced on July 14 at the National Governors Association, was organized by the state-based non-profit code.org, which aims to provide computer science to students and help them seek careers in technology.
The executives in a letter, therefore, urged the governors to update the school curriculum in each state to give students in every school access to computer science education. According to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, he revealed how computer science was pivotal to his success in life after being introduced to it at an early age.
In his words, “When I was 13, computer science changed the course of my life. I was really lucky to have access to a computer that early on. I hope this initiative will give every student the same opportunity”.
It is interesting to note that Governors in the U.S are already walking the talk, as they already have signed the ‘compact to expand k-12 computer science Education’ committing to expanding access to computer science education through various strategies including funding and increasing participation from traditionally underserved populations.
Despite the fact that computer science learning opportunities are not universally accessible, they are increasing specifically with schools now including it in their curriculum. There is no disputing the fact that the world has significantly advanced as we are currently in the digital age, therefore there is a strong need for school students to learn computer skills at an early stage.
The computer science field has no doubt been described as one of the fastest growing and highest paying career paths in the world. With the evolving digital age, there is a strong need for students, regardless of whatever field, to have an avid knowledge in the usage of computers.
Currently, a lot of job openings with knowledge of computer science are growing in almost every industry, and such job openings are projected to grow at twice the rate of any job. To keep up with these latest career opportunities, young people need to be taught computer science in schools.
Despite the current digital age that the world has evolved into, I am still perplexed why only a few schools have included it in their curriculum with so many others still reluctant to do so. A close observation of most innovation in the world today, one will observe that such was driven by computer science.
A case study of Microsoft founder Bill Gates who attributed his success to being exposed to computer science courses at an early age. Imagine a lot of innovations the world would have witnessed if about 90% of schools in the world included computer science in their school curriculum.
One crucial factor in building capacity for computer science is to provide professional development and support for teachers who teach it. To effectively build these students on computer science courses, teachers must have an extensive knowledge and practice with computer science to properly engage these students.
Because a lot of teachers are only used to the basics and traditional instruction method which is not effective in today’s digital world. Students need to learn beyond the basics and delve into skills like coding, Web Designing, Software Developing, etc. In today’s world, having a beyond-basic knowledge of computers connects people to a grid of opportunities.