BSA to target schoolgoers

19 Aug 2003

The Business Software Alliance, the watchdog group that represents leading software companies, is bringing its fight against software piracy to the classroom through a new educational curriculum developed in conjunction with the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE).

The curriculum, which will be launched in the coming school term, will cover ethics, the value of creative works and the positive impact of copyright and the technology industry on Ireland’s economy.

According to the BSA, the curriculum will be designed to supplement teachers’ lesson plans by introducing new ideas and ethics-based discussions in the classroom.The programme will be backed by a dedicated website and supporting materials that will be distributed to teachers of Civic, Political and Social Education (CSPE), as well as to IT and Transition Year students in all secondary schools across Ireland.

Beth Scott, vice-president, BSA EMEA commented: “The curriculum will provide pupils with essential information and skills so that they can continue to enjoy the huge benefits that the internet and new technology offers, but ensuring that they do so responsibly and legally. With the proliferation of copyrighted works available online, today’s cyber-savvy young people need guidance now more than ever on what constitutes good online behaviour and what doesn’t.”

She continued: “Young people’s understanding of the value of creativity and about taking responsibility for their future with good computer behaviour is essential. This is particularly important in Ireland, which has such a strong economic and now cultural connection with the technological revolution and which has a workforce at the centre of development in Europe.”

Welcoming the new initiative, Mike Byrne, national co-ordinator, NCTE, said: “Computers have become an integral tool in a child’s education and the goal of these activities is to teach students good ethics and the importance of respecting intellectual property.”

By Brian Skelly