A committee jointly established by the ACM Europe Council and Informatics Europe has issued a report painting a detailed picture of the state of basic education in Informatics, Digital Literacy and Teacher Training in these disciplines in Europe.

The May report entitled, “Informatics Education in Europe: Are We All in the Same Boat?” made a series of recommendations focused on three key areas:

Informatics: All students must have access to ongoing education in Informatics in the school system, preferably starting in primary school; the courses must be recognised by each country’s educational system as being on a par with other STEM courses; and instruction must be undertaken only by teachers who have obtained a formal education and qualification in Informatics.

Digital Literacy: Digital Literacy needs be taught from the early stages of education. It should not be confused with or be a substitute for Informatics. Curriculum should be periodically updated to reflect new developments in information technology. It should emphasise not only skills but also the principles and practices of using them effectively, safely, and ethically.

Teacher Training: The vicious circle of a shortage of Informatics courses and Informatics teachers needs to be broken by training and hiring Informatics teachers even in times of budget shortages. The hiring of Informatics teachers must follow the same standards, formal requirements and methodological training as for all other disciplines.