LONDON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- British scientists say the teaching of information and communication technology in the country's schools needs an overhaul to keep up internationally.
Britain's Royal Society said the concern grows out of a chronic decline in the numbers of students studying ICT and computing.
"The U.K. has a proud history of leading the way in the field of computer science and associated disciplines, from the development of the world's first stored-program computers to more recent innovations such as the invention of the World Wide Web," the society's Steve Furber told the BBC.
"However, from this bright start, we are now watching the enthusiasm of the next generation waste away through poorly conceived courses and syllabuses."
British Education Secretary Michael Gove recently described current ICT teaching methods as "demotivating and dull."
In September the government will introduce a new curriculum in computer science and programming, Gove said, designed with the help of universities and industry.
Among the concerns about current instruction is the lack of specialist ICT teachers, officials said.
Only 35 percent of ICT teachers are specialists, compared with more than 80 percent for core subjects such as math and English, government statistics show.
"If we cannot address the problem of how to educate our young people in inspirational and appropriate ways, we risk a future workforce that is totally unskilled and unsuited to tomorrow's job market," Furber said.