January 22, 2016 – Fleming calls Premier’s promise to teach computer coding empty

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computer_codingVICTORIA— Premier Christy Clark’s plan to teach computer coding without computers is like telling a kid to learn to ride a bike without a bike, says New Democrat spokesperson on education Rob Fleming.

“British Columbians know that you just can’t take Premier Christy Clark at her word anymore. Announcing that B.C. schools will teach coding without any plan or funding to back it up with the necessary technology shows that this is just another empty promise,” said Fleming.

“In response to the lack of funding behind the Christy Clark government’s commitment, the Minister of Education actually said, with a straight face, that students don’t need computers to learn computer coding. That is like telling a kid to learn to ride a bike without a bike.”

At the #BCTECH Summit in Vancouver this week, Christy Clark said that mandatory courses for coding would be phased into classrooms over three years. She said that they would begin in September of this year, but failed to give any support for the necessary technology or for building the capacity required to meet the mandatory curriculum changes.

“The reality is that many schools in our province lack computer screens and some don’t even have broadband internet service. It is essential that students get hands on experience with up-to-date technology to properly teach coding,” said Fleming.

“Christy Clark refuses to back up her commitment up with proper funding, which means that once again it will be up to parents, teachers, and students in schools across the province to organize even more fundraisers to try and purchase the equipment that they need.”