Brown promises internet access for all children
Posted in: Digital Divide at 26/09/2008 02:43
Gordon Brown's plans to give families £700 so that all children have internet access at home has been warmly welcomed by teachers and educationalists.
But they warn that the estimated £300m to finance the scheme must not come from other education budgets. And they also stress that simply installing computers in homes won't make children or parents use them for educational purposes.
Low-income homes to get net links
Parents on low incomes who have not provided their children with computers and internet access will get "vouchers" to do so, the government has said.
The scheme to tackle England's "digital divide", available nationally in a year's time, will cost £300m.
uk: It's speed the British people need
Helping children access the net is great, but the government needs to invest in faster broadband to aid the UK economy
Gordon Brown's promise to the Labour conference today to help bridge the digital divide by spending £300m to give 1.4 million poorer children free broadband access to the internet and computers as well, is a thoroughly welcome measure. Sadly, one has to say it is subject to the usual reservations about Brownite initiatives. It has been plucked out of a hat by a beleaguered prime minister fighting for his political life and will have to be financed out of an existing - and very stretched - educational budget. But let's give credit where it is due and hope that the money - to be given out by schools over three years worth up to £700 to unconnected households - will be the start of a personal commitment to the broadband revolution enabling the prime minister to escape from David Cameron's withering jibe that he is an analogue politician in a digital age.