All businessmen agree that programming is a key skill in the economy and that programmers are among the most sought-after professionals. But in schools the subject of Computer Science is still considered a second class subject, which is not even compulsory in all educational stages. In addition, according to all the experts, it is poorly taught and the teachers lack preparation. A report presented this Tuesday denounces that Spain is "behind" European countries in computer training and speaks of "inequalities" in skills among students depending on the ownership of the educational center.
Because, according to this work, students from private schools receive twice as much training as those from public ones in the creation and use of algorithms, in programming to create software, applications or games, and in programming to manage large databases. In addition, private students have 32% more training in handling computers at the hardware level and 22% in knowledge of how computers are designed.
The data comes from the 2022 Report of the Observatory of Computing in Spain, a work carried out between the consultancy Deloitte and Code.org, an American NGO that promotes the study of Computer Science at school ages. The study maintains that "private centers are making a greater commitment to this content as a differential and strategic value", while "public centers do not always have the same room for maneuver or the same resources to develop a better offer". Families with more socioeconomic resources also "tend to give more importance to learning computer science in Primary and Secondary".
The report also points out that one of the "main challenges in the application of the Lomloe" is the "lack of specific training" of Primary teachers, a stage where "they are generalists" and "do not have adequate training" in this matter . "In Secondary, the law allows obtaining qualification from a series of very diverse careers, from Computer Science to Architecture, which does not necessarily mean that they have the adequate knowledge to teach this discipline," adds the report, which recommends "training teachers , since due to their initial training they are unaware of these contents".
The Ministry of Education has recently agreed that all the Autonomous Communities use the same frame of reference to accredit the digital competence of teachers, but, in the opinion of computer scientists, "it has missed the mark". "All the emphasis is being placed on digital competence, which are the skills to use computers, when the emphasis should be placed on computing, which is a more social discipline and includes problem solving, logical reasoning, intelligence artificial, programming", explained to EL MUNDO Faraón Llorens, treasurer of the Scientific Information Society of Spain (SCIE) and professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Alicante.
"The Ministry is not doing it as it should. The scientific societies and the universities have offered our collaboration and they have paid us no attention. They are doing good training in digital competence but not in computing. There is no didactics of computing in the study plans", adds Jesús Ángel Velázquez, member of Education at the SCIE and professor at the Rey Juan Carlos University.
Elena Gorostiza, responsible for International Alliances at Code.org for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, summarizes the state of the Informatics subject: "The Government has made a small attempt to introduce some modules in Primary for training of the students, but they are a dead letter because the teachers are not prepared to give them. When you get to Secondary there is something else, it depends on the Autonomous Communities. In Baccalaureate there was a subject that they have removed and now it is optional. But this is as important as Language o Mathematics. Students should learn it as a core subject and that is why teachers must be trained from now on".
Fátima Báñez, president of the CEOE Foundation, participated in the presentation of the study, who recalled that "nine out of 10 jobs will be affected by digitization" and has defended that "the moment of significant learning for a person to start make decisions is between 12 and 15 years old". María Benjumea, president of South Summit, has also intervened, insisting that "the role of the teacher is decisive and what is important is how this teaching is taught."
All have agreed that "teachers must be trained" and train them with "clear and homogeneous criteria", as well as the need to make the subject of Computer Science compulsory from Primary and make possible a small State pact that includes this obligation. .
"Minister Pilar Alegría says that she is convinced, I love her very much and she is a very good friend, but this issue is not yet in the BOE," warned the former leader of the PSOE Eduardo Madina, now a partner at the Harmon consultancy and also present at the meeting.
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