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New approach to computer lessons in schools

On the news today we hear that the teaching of computer knowledge in British schools has been a waste of time and needs to be reorganised. Instead of teaching children to use Word and spreadsheets we should be teaching programming. In other words, they shouldn't be passive users of the technology but should be able to modify it actively through understanding what is going on under the hood.

This seems eminently sensible, but in the next sentence we are told that Microsoft will be involved in the restructuring, which appears to contradict the essential idea of the restructuring. Surely the pupils should be introduced to the idea of free software, which would give them the ideal field in which to learn their programming skills.

But there may be some hope, because schools will be free to develop their own curriculums, so perhaps at least some of them will not allow themselves to be take over by Microsoft.

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