Million ‘teen robots’ on path to illiteracy, OECD warns

A global education leader has criticised Australia’s shallow school curriculum for producing “second-class robots’’, as damning new data reveals a million teenagers are on a track to illiteracy over the next five years.

Andreas Schleicher, education and skills ­director with the ­Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, has warned that Australia has “made learning often a mile wide, but just an inch deep’’.

“I would say that is one of the real challenges in Australia,’’ he says in a speech prepared for the National Catholic Education Conference next week.

“The challenge is to teach fewer things at greater depths.

“If you look at the top-­performing education systems, that’s what they do. They often focus more on deep conceptual understanding rather than just surface content.’’

Mr Schleicher called for more rigour in the curriculum to teach children to think for themselves and collaborate, instead of educating “second-class robots, people who are good at repeating what we’ve told them’’.