Google has provided funding to recruit computer science teachers in the UK, chairman Eric Schmidt has revealed.
Speaking at the Science Museum in London on ‘Why Science Matters‘ yesterday, Schmidt said that the company has been working with independent charity Teach First to train more than 100 science teachers.
“We provided funds to support more than 100 first-grade science teachers over the next three years, the majority in computer science.
“We will also provide each computer science recruit with a small bursary to help them get the things they need, such as Raspberry Pi,” he said.
The first batch of Teach First teachers will be placed in schools this year, and Schmidt said that the rest of the technology industry should make an effort to support computer science education.
“I urge you all to help pitch in where you can,” he said.
Schmidt criticised the UK’s teaching of ICT last year, which prompted the government to get rid of the current ICT curriculum to make way for more ‘rigorous’ IT education in schools.
“Scrapping the existing curriculum is a good first step,” he said. “The question is now how to power it back up.”
The Google chairman believes that early exposure to computer science is key to encouraging children to enter the technology industry.
“Only two percent of Google employees say they were not exposed to computer science at high school,” he said.
Exposure to female role models is also important to attract more girls into science and technology, he added.
“I think more visible examples of female successes at every level is going to be helpful. We have success stories and they’re not being told enough,” said Schmidt.