But the problem, according to those campaigning for change, begins at school with ICT [Information and communications technology] – a subject seen by its detractors as teaching clerical skills rather than any real understanding of computing. And it seems school children are getting that message too because the numbers studying the subject are on the decline. The answer, according to the firms and organisations calling for change, is to put proper computer science in the form of coding on the curriculum. And it looks like they’ve found what could be a great slogan for their campaign. ‘Coding is the new Latin,’ says Alex Hope, co-author of that Next Gen report which kicked things off. ‘We need to give kids a proper understanding of computers if they’re to compete for all kinds of jobs.’
Okay … but while I know what Latin is, I’m not so sure about “coding.” Would knowing HTML and CSS count? Or would kids need to go a step deeper into scripting languages? (And if so, which ones?) Or does it only count as “coding” if it’s one of the full-scale programming languages, like C and its successors? I need to know what precisely is being recommended here before I know whether I want to sign on.