*** 2014 CGi IT Challenge won by Team TeraFormers from The Ladies College - more details here. ***
The CGI has been instrumental in facilitating the Secondary Schools Computer Club Initiative by setting up the clubs in collaboration with Guernsey Secondary Schools.
Members whose activities require computer programming skills have experienced great difficulties in recruiting suitably skilled or qualified staff. Some time ago the education curriculum dropped computer programming from ICT syllabus and instead focussed students on learning how to use common applications.
Ultimately this has lead to a fall off in students studying ICT related subjects at all levels GCSE - A Level and Degree level, which has ultimately fed through to a lack of young people looking for careers in computer programming. Fortunately the syllabuses are now changing and Guernsey schools are beginning to offer ICT courses again, where suitable teaching staff are available.
CGI began an initiative in autumn 2012 to create secondary school computer clubs where inquisitive students could use computers at lunch times to develop an interest in computing and programming.
CGI, through support of its members, donated Raspberry Pi's - the low cost computer that has initiated a revolution in teaching coding to school children plus re-cycled conventional PCs to a number of local schools. The computer clubs were an instant hit. La Mare de Carteret was the first club to launch and it has been followed by Les Beaucamps, St Sampson's and Ladies College.
CGI Committee member and ICT sector representative Alan Rowe provided the initial concept but it has been the tireless work of Larry Granger in distributing nearly 100 Raspberry Pi's together with re-cycling about 70 conventional PCs to equip the clubs that gave the initiative momentum. The clubs would not have been possible without the enthusiastic support and involvement of the teachers who back the initiative.
Government has recognised the wider opportunity provided by the 'digital' sector to develop diversity and new growth areas within the Guernsey economy and is developing and backing initiatives to develop digital skills among the population.