Digital education set for huge boost among young New Zealanders

Author
Michael Sergel,
Section
Education,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 28 June 2017, 7:09p.m.
Nikki Kaye has announced a $40-million-dollar package to increase young peoples digital skills. (Photo/ Getty)

Making digital education compulsory in schools could prevent New Zealand from falling behind.

Education minister Nikki Kaye has unveiled plans to make it compulsory for schools to teach digital literacy and include emerging digital technology in everyday learning.

Ms Kaye has announced a 40-million-dollar package to increase young people's digital skills.

LISTEN ABOVE: DR MICHELLE DICKINSON TALKS TO LARRY WILLIAMS

New Zealand is behind the UK and many European countries, which teach coding from the age of five.

Code Club board member Dr Michelle Dickinson said this announcement will help New Zealand catch up.

"We'll be catching up pretty quickly, and I think by the end of 2020 we'll actually be one of the forerunners in teaching our kids about digital technology," she said.

Dr Dickinson said digital literacy is set to become a must-have job skill.

"You can't live through life now without touching a computer, we have to have the right people in these jobs and to do that you have to have the right training which starts really young," said Dr Dickinson.

Today's announcement is the biggest change to the school curriculum in more than a decade.

Dr Dickinson said today's cyber attack is further evidence of how crucial digital technology is becoming.

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