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close this bookInformatics for Secondary Education - A Curriculum for Schools (ED/HEP - pii-iip - IFIP - UNESCO, 1994, 103 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction - Overall Aim and Justification
View the documentSection 1 - The Curriculum Format
View the documentSection 2 - Main Objectives of the Informatics Curriculum
View the documentSection 3 - The Curriculum Units
View the documentSection 4 - General Implementation Issues
Open this folder and view contentsAppendix 1 - Computer Literacy Units
View the documentAppendix 2 - Informatics in other Disciplines
View the documentAppendix 3 - General Advanced Level Units
View the documentAppendix 4 - Vocational Advanced Level Units
View the documentAppendix 5 - Bibliography

Introduction - Overall Aim and Justification

General Aim

UNESCO aims to ensure that all countries, both developed and developing, have access to the best educational facilities necessary to prepare young people to play a full role in modern society and to contribute to wealth creation.

Information technology (IT) has become, within a very short time, one of the basic building blocks of modern industrial society. Understanding IT and mastering the basic skills and concepts of IT are now regarded by many countries as part of the core of education alongside reading and writing. This area of study goes under the all-embracing name of informatics.

To give positive, practical help to all UNESCO countries, the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) has been asked to specify a curriculum in informatics for secondary education based on the experience of its specialist working group (WG 3.1) and input from other selected experts. The curriculum is designed to be capable of implementation throughout the world to all secondary age students.

All governments aim to provide the most comprehensive education for all citizens within the constraints of available finance. Because of the pivotal position of information technology in modern societies, the introduction of informatics into secondary schools will be high on any political agenda. This document gives a practical and realistic approach to the informatics curriculum which can be adopted quickly and at minimum cost.

Justification for Informatics Learning

Information technology now permeates the business environment and underpins the success of modern corporations as well as providing government with cost efficient civil service systems. At the same time the tools and techniques of information technology are of value in the processes of learning and in the organisation and management of learning institutions.

The trends in the need for qualified personnel give a clear demonstration of the need for effective informatics learning at all levels (source: Schul Computer Jahrbuch, Ausgabe '93/94, Metzler Schulbuch Verlag, page 15):


professional informaticians (computer scientists)


0,5 % of the professional population


4 % of the professional population

professionals in other disciplines with an informatics qualification


1.5 % of the professional population


20 % of the professional population

professionals competent in the use of informatics tools


3 % of the professional population


40 % of the professional population

professionals with no IT qualification


95 % of the professional population


36 % of the professional population

In light of these clear indications it is timely for UNESCO to promote the introduction of informatics in all secondary schools in all countries. The commissioning of IFIP Working Group 3.1 to design the recommended curriculum draws on their wide experience of developing effective informatics education during the past quarter of a century.

Tom van Weert Chair, IFIP Working Group 3.1 on Secondary Education