Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said less importance given to computer science in the British education system is holding the country’s digital media economy.
“If I may be so impolite, your track record isn't great,” he said in a lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Schmidt pointed out though Britain is known for many technological breakthroughs it was no longer the world's leading exponent in these fields and that there is a great need for developing the interest of children in science and technology.
“UK is home of so many media-related inventions, be it photography, television or computer, in both concepts and practice ... Yet today, none of the world's leading exponents in these fields are from the UK, he said, according to BBC News.
“It's not widely known, but the world's first office computer was built in 1951 by Lyons' chain of tea shops,” he added.
He laid emphasis on bringing art and science back together, as it had in the glory days of the Victorian era when Lewis Carroll, who was a mathematics tutor at Oxford, wrote one of the classic fairy tales, Alice in Wonderland.
Schmidt said he was amazed to know that computer science was not a standard subject in the schools in UK. Your IT curriculum focuses on teaching how to use software, but gives no insight into how it's made. That is just throwing away your great computing heritage, he said.
Schmidt announced a partnership with UK's National Film and TV School to help train young online film-makers. The TV and the internet screens were converging and internet was transforming television even though people still spent much more time with TV than the web, he said, adding that a social layer was being added to TV shows through Twitter and chat forums.
He also said Google was a friend, not a foe, of television. Trust me - if you gave people at Google free rein to produce TV you'd end up with a lot of bad sci-fi, he said.