Cape Town – The government’s decision to limit information technology (IT) students at school to “outdated” software has been described by the Cape Chamber of Commerce as a sign of slipping education standards.

This follows the news that the Department of Basic Education plans to standardise computer applications technology and IT classes by restricting pupils to Microsoft Office and the Delphi programming language respectively.

IT specialist Derek Keats railed against the decision on his blog, calling the Delphi programming language outdated and unexciting.

Many other IT specialists said the language was rarely used.

On Wednesday, the chamber’s digital portfolio committee met to discuss the department’s decision. With the plans only being implemented at public schools in 2015, it said there was still time for the industry to intervene.

Committee chairman Roderick Lim Banda said standardisation on one technology or programming language was ”much like trying to study medicine based on the kidney as the only part of the human anatomy”.

The chamber and the committee’s participants will lobby for a re-evaluation of the decision.

However despite the criticism, the department said standardising the syllabus would eradicate the complexity of having two separate programming languages, which was costing the government money and making it difficult for students and teachers to move between schools. – Cape Argus

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