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ACS Week In Review: 20 June 2014

Friday, 20 Jun 2014

Why technology education is not cutting it

Large numbers of high school staff teaching ICT are not formally qualified, which may have contributed to the drop in students studying technology courses at universities and colleges over the past 12 years.
This is the view of the Australian Council of Deans of ICT (ACDICT), which found that almost two-thirds (60 per cent) of ICT teachers in Australia for students from years 7 to 10 are not formally qualified in ICT. Almost half (48 per cent) of ICT teachers for Years 11 to 12 are also not qualified in the subject.

ACDICT said the lack of teachers qualified in ICT is “likely to be a significant factor in the declining enrolments in ICT in higher education over the past dozen years”.

“We need action on several fronts to improve the situation,” said President of ACDICT, Professor Leon Sterling. “ACDICT is working with other stakeholders, such as the CSIRO and NICTA to increase the participation of industry and academia in schools such as in the mentoring of teachers to help with any ICT skills gaps and provide the students with interesting projects.”

ACS CEO Alan Patterson is quoted in this article.

ACS rejects AIIA’s ‘Australia tax’ justification

The Australian Computer Society has hit back at controversial remarks made this week by fellow lobby group the Australian Information Industry Association over technology pricing discrepancies.

In a submission to the Australian Government’s review into competition policy and market regulation, the AIIA justified what has come to be known as the ‘Australia tax’, which can see Australian consumers charged up to 50 percent more than their international counterparts for identical hardware and software products.

The AIIA – which represents the interests of major IT providers - described the practice as “typical and justifiable” under Australia’s unique market conditions, and said further regulation of pricing could see suppliers abandon the Australian market altogether.

But its claims have been publicly rejected by the ACS, a professional association serving the Australian IT industry.

NSW IT spending will help state’s digital future: ACS

The New South Wales government’s 2014-15 Budget IT spending will help the state prepare for a digital future, according to the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

ACS CEO Alan Patterson said the announced ICT measures will go “a long way” towards making NSW one of the more “digitally connected” states in Australia.

"The ACS is committed to working with the NSW government to help develop ICT skills throughout the whole of government. Investments in technology are a great start, but they only show their true value when supported by highly skilled people, in the right place, at the right time,” he said in a statement.