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Education or how it all started

2013-05-29 11:25:19
The Flemish government is discussing (again and already for a long time) a new organisation of the educational system. One of the ideas is to lower (or eliminate) the number of hours dedicated to computer lessons. Yes indeed, they think students already use enough computers at home so they don't need any additional lessons. The usage of computers (and electronics in general) should just be integrated into the other lessons.

As a die hard computer geek this breaks my heart of course. Especially when you think of the great lack there is of well educated students in IT, software, electronics, etc. etc.

On the other hand I'm convinced that there are a number of teachers who totally disagree and follow their own path. There are projects where Lego Mindstorms are used to build interactive robots with 10-12 year old boys and girls. And that's where it has to happen! What I do today, has all started when our teacher (Thank you Freddy Vandorpe!) introduced the Commodore 64 in our school when I was 11 years old and he learned us our first programming skills in Basic! That one person is responsible that I and some other boys of the same class grew up as technical oriented persons.

On the other hand I somewhere lost my destination to become a hard-/software guy when I studied maths and science till my 18th so ended up in a totally different high school study. When those science lessons would have been integrated with practical exercises on how electronics work because of what we learned in physics, I'm pretty sure I would have continued with electronics in high school. But no, I lost contact with the fascinating world of resistors, diodes, ic's, ...

Because I like to learn and keep doing it, I (accidently) got back to where it all started, press a button and see something happen elsewhere because of the fascinating synergy between hard- and software. And that fascination needs to be shown to all kids in school so they get to see that for instance a phone is actually a miraculous combination of components working together...