Masterplan Computer Science Education Amsterdam

This is an idea from Marijn van der Meer. For questions or ideas mail to

Many schools in Amsterdam have problems with offering Computer Science education. This is a current problem: the number of schools offering the Informatics course is decreasing (in The Netherlands from 300 schools to 260 in the last 8 years, source (in Dutch)). And the quality of IT education is under pressure. And that makes it a serious problem for the future: society increasingly demands IT-skilled citizens. The business community is crying out for employees who are IT-literate or more than that: for IT people. What's going wrong?

Need for overinvestments per school

The purchase of learning materials (computers, laser or vinyl cutters, 3D printers, drones, robots, VR glasses, etc.) is a new issue for schools. The costs are high and schools usually do not know what they should and want to purchase. These learning materials take up a lot of classrooms / space while relatively few hours of use. Every school must therefore make an overinvestment for good IT education.

Quality and innovation of the subject content

The existing methods are often outdated and / or focused on business informatics, while there is at least as much "creativity it-industry" (such as game industry, art sector, GEO-ict, data visualization, robotics, etc.) which increasingly plays a role. in all facets of society (education, healthcare, economy) and often also fits better with the pupil's world. Because the IT lecturers often do not have their professional roots in IT, or because the later entrants are not competent and / or because they are fragmented as individuals at different schools, the quality and innovation of this course is underexposed.

Shortage of IT teachers

Often the subject Computer Science at a school is so small that an IT teacher is needed for a maximum of 2 days. The teacher must therefore teach at several schools or, as is often the case, teach another subject in addition to the IT profession. IT is then the profession that is given 'extra'. This is related to the following point: Many IT teachers are not authorized to give IT. There is a group of maths teachers who have been able to obtain a power twenty years ago through a master plan. This group is about to retire for a very long time and, moreover, these mathematicians often approach IT from a too narrow perspective: the mathematical side, which often does not match the environment and motivation of the pupils. A new generation of IT teachers is very difficult to find, because there is a huge demand for staff in the IT sector. The IT sector pays well and has a 'sexy' image. In higher education there is already 'green picking': IT students do not go for their diploma, because they get paid jobs before they graduate. Let alone that they take another 1 or 2 years to get a teaching qualification and go into education!

The schools all struggle on their own with IT education, the IT profession is underperformed and this educational problem grows into a social problem with major social consequences.

Possible solution - Do IT campus Amsterdam

The solution is obvious: bundling and collaborating. In Amsterdam, perhaps per district, establish a building or part of a building for IT education. A building with all facilities and a group of teachers who learn from and with each other about the subject of computer science. A building where secondary school pupils take classes, carry out projects and are assessed on a level (with a well thought-out and responsible program for testing and closing, the Dutch PTA). The teachers work together on the core objectives of IT education and are responsible for the basic quality . In addition, there is a variety of interests and expertise that allow students to follow tailor-made programs. The environment is motivating, inspiring, forward-looking. For the reality and topicality of the offer, contact is made with the business community, university and university colleges, from which guest lecturers are also invited. The campus is an internship and graduation project for IT students from Amsterdam colleges and universities. Educational support is part of their study arrangement with the campus.

The idea already exists as a small collaboration between the Montessori Scholengemeenschap and the IJburg College in ICT in de Wolken Amsterdam