Soci?t? Informatique de France: Message to Greek minister of Education (20/08/2013)

 Message to Greek minister of Education from SIF


Dear Minister Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos,


Please find attached a (bilingual) statement from the Soci?t? Informatique de France, the French learned society in Informatics.

As you surely know, a recent report from the French Acad?mie des Sciences [] argues strongly that our educational system has a duty to educate children to the science of Informatics.  Just like Maths, Physics or Biology, the science of Informatics (e.g., information, algorithms, languages, computing machinery, etc.) is part of any modern scientific education, because it that enables citizens of the digital society to understand and to act, to be the master of his tools, to become a creator, and not just a consumer.

Furthermore, Informatics education is necessary in order to develop the research and the industry of the future.  The recent initiative of the European Commission ?Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs? notes that in the foreseeable future, the digital industry will continue to gain importance : software is necessary to an increasing number of activities, and constitutes a reservoir for job growth.  For lack of qualified manpower, 900 000 job offers will remain unfulfilled in the European digital industry in 2015. [See]

Many European countries have understood that Informatics must be taught in primary and secondary schools.  For instance, the United Kingdom recently introduced Informatics into the secondary school exam, the Ebacc, on par with traditional sciences.  Today, your country, Greece, is one of the most advanced in Europe, since you introduce algorithms in the primary school, you continue this education in middle school, the Lyceum curriculum includes a practical introduction to Informatics as a science, and Informatics is part of the university entrance examination.

Therefore, SIF, and the French scientific community with it, is shocked to learn that the Greek government is proposing to turn backwards.  As part of an ambitious set of reforms, named the New School Reform (ΝΕΟΣΧΟΛΕΙΟ), informatics education would be eliminated from the Lyceum.  The new curriculum would maintain only digital literacy education at the primary and middle levels.

Granted, economic recovery is a priority for Greece. This however should not be at the expense of Greece's future. The road to the digital world rests on joint progress in both science (Informatics) and technology (ICT).  Greece must not mortgage its future.  Economic recovery cannot rest upon education on the cheap nor upon eliminating the field of the future, Informatics.  On the contrary, to prepare the future, Informatics education should be further developed, at all levels of education.




On behalf of Soci?t? Informatique de France


Marc Shapiro

member of the board,

in charge of International Relations