Number of students who took IT GCSE this year hits record low
At a time when the number of students who took IT GCSE has seen the biggest fall so far, Google chief Eric Schmidt has criticised the British education system, saying the country is "throwing away" its "great computing heritage".
Speaking at a broadcasting conference in Edinburgh on Friday, Google chairman said that promoting a separation of arts and sciences and not appreciating the importance of computer science was holding the country back.
Schmidt was the first non-broadcaster to give a lecture at the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.
He said it was shocking to see that computer science is not taught as a standard in British schools.
"If I may be so impolite, your track record isn’t great," he said.
"The UK is home of so many media-related inventions. You invented photography. You invented TV. You invented computers in both concept and practice.
"Yet today, none of the world’s leading exponents in these fields are from the UK.
"Your IT curriculum focuses on teaching how to use software, but gives no insight into how it’s made."
Meanwhile, according to a report by Computing, this year, the number of students who took IT GCSE fell 23%, the biggest fall so far.
The report said that the number of students opting for IT GCSE has plummeted by 57% over five years.
The Royal Society is conducting a study over the declining interest of students in IT GCSE.
The Royal Society Computing in Schools study professor Steve Furber said, "Dwindling interest in computing at schools does not sit well with the evermore central role we are seeing computers play in business, government, home and entertainment."
"Our knowledge economy is dependent on a workforce equipped with the skills that computing subjects at school lay the groundwork for."
"We expect to recommend fundamentally reforming parts of our education system when the report is published at the end of this year," added professor Furber.