Feeds

Exam board deletes C and PHP from CompSci A-levels

C ya

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A-level computer science students will no longer be taught C, C# or PHP from next year following a decision to withdraw the languages by the largest exam board.

Schools teaching the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance's (AQA) COMP1 syllabus have been asked to use one of its other approved languages - Java, Pascal/Delphi, Python 2.6, Python 3.1, Visual Basic 6 and VB.Net 2008. The final resits allowing work in C, C# and PHP will be held in June 2011.

In a document detailing the withdrawal (pdf), the AQA said the move was a response to low take-up of some of the eight languages originally allowed under its syllabus.

The board "highly recommended" switching to Pascal/Delphi because it is stable and was designed to teach programming and problem solving. Teachers planning to use Java are warned that many universities are considering dropping it from their first year computer science programmes, "as has happened in the US".

"You have to consider carefully whether you should be teaching a language that could very well be taught in [higher education]," the AQA wrote.

The allowed variants of Python and Visual Basic are presented by the AQA without comment.

Simon Humphreys, the British Computing Society's coordinator of computing at school, backed the decision.

“I understand that the reason for AQA dropping C#, PHP and C from the AS Computing examination is one of demand," he told The Register.

"Most centres offer Pascal/Delphi and Visual Basic as the language of choice for their students. This selection is based on the experience of the teacher in that centre and their own comfort with that language.

"The Computing A Level is not intended as a programming course but a course that covers the fundamentals of computing of which programming (and problem solving) form a key component."

The AQA's exclusion of C, C# and PHP - languages that are arguably more useful in practice than the now-preferred teaching languages - is nevertheless sure to spark debate. Over to you. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes
Developers just want their ideas to generate money
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.