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article imageGoogle announces £1m investment in U.K. computing lessons

By James Walker     Nov 20, 2017 in Technology
Google has announced it will provide £1m to train U.K. computer science teachers. The grant will support the U.K. government's £100m initiative to improve computer science education in the country, where only 11 percent of school pupils take the subject
With computers set to define the future of business, economics and society, it's important that school students receive the computing skills they need. After suffering from years of neglect, the U.K. government is reviving its computer science curriculum by making lessons more widely available and investing £100 million to train 8,000 teachers.
Today, Google announced it's joining the campaign with its own £1 million grant. This will be directed to several computer science education societies who'll use the money to help teachers improve their skills. They'll then be better placed to understand new concepts and assist students in the classroom.
Who will benefit?
The Raspberry Pi Foundation, British Computer Society and National STEM Learning Centre are amongst the organisations set to receive the grant. They'll provide training courses to "thousands" of computer science teachers working in secondary education. The grant will particularly focus on improving the standard of education in disadvantaged areas.
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"Googlers care deeply about helping to develop our future computer scientists, and many of them will give their time and skills to this program," said Google. "A team of Google engineers and learning and development specialists will volunteer with Raspberry Pi to ensure that all teachers are able to access the online resources and courses."
The next generation of experts
Experts in technological frontiers such as cloud security and IoT are already in short supply. Training new generations of computer scientists will be an essential step before the digital economy's potential can be fully realised. Google said only 11 percent of 16-year-old GCSE pupils take computer science in the U.K., either due to lack of interest or the course not being offered. The company's trying to address both issues by assisting the U.K. government's education effort.
Globally, Google's already invested close to $40 million in computer science training resources for students and teachers. It's not the only tech company trying to bring computer science to more pupils. Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook are amongst other Silicon Valley giants participating in a cross-industry effort to find new talent. Improving computing education works both ways, giving companies access to more employees while awarding young people a greater understanding of digital concepts.
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