In an earlier post, I posted the DBE’s response to criticism on the Delphi and MS only route that they have decided to follow. On the ITweb web site was a post on the response by Wits School of Education : Educational Information Technology Division.
Dr. Reuben Dlamini (Head of Division), Dr. Ian Moll, Ms. Sithabile Ndlovu and Mr. Tom Waspe have drafted an open letter in response to the DBE’s statement. The title of the letter is “Pinning Our Hopes on Obsolete Information Technology Tools is Unwise”
Here is an excerpt:
Thursday, 24 October 2013
Open letter to the Minister of the Department of Basic Education and the MEC of the Gauteng Department of Education
Pinning Our Hopes on Obsolete Information Technology Tools is Unwise
The recently published Circular S9/2013 by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on the standardization of software tools in the implementation and accessing of Computer Applications Technology (CAT) and Information Technology (IT) in schools demonstrated short-sightedness in the national government. From our point of view the government should be pushing for teaching core principles first then followed by core practices. Developing the core principles of programming earlier enable learners to participate in IT beyond basic computational thinking. The DBE, if not careful with its fascination with ‘teaching technologies’ is running a risk of locking IT education in our schools (especially public schools) into very limited technologies. Access issues need to be a central consideration given our context. Delphi and MS Office offer limited access for poorer communities.
Therefore, pinning our hopes on Microsoft Office alone and Delphi above Java is unwise.