Clare Curran |
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 – 12:01
The number of struggling Kiwi families with school age children that benefit from the Computer in Homes programme will be more than cut in half because of Budget cuts, says Clare Curran, Labour’s Communications and IT Spokesperson.
“Funding for the long-running scheme has been slashed by $1.7 million this year, meaning about 1000 families will miss out. Some of the programmes will probably have to shut down entirely.
“It’s my understanding that number of families participating in the programme will fall from 1500 to less than 600 next year, despite a growing waiting list.
Computers in Homes has been running for 12 years, providing computer literacy and computers and an internet connection into the homes of more than 10,000 families across 17 regions from Northland to Otago. It is estimated that 100,000 families with dependent children do not have access to a computer at home.
“These are some of the most disadvantaged homes in the country. By cutting this programme the government is making a mockery of its commitment to digital literacy and closing the digital divide,” Clare Curran says.
“Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye has trumpeted her government’s commitment to 21st century learning in the digital environment. Giving kids from low income families access to a computer at home is an essential part of this.
Nikki Kaye’s government has dropped the ball and the Minister of Community and Voluntary Services Jo Goodhew doesn’t appear to know what’s happening in her own Ministry.
“Either this is a cruel and nasty cut to a successful and essential programme, or someone has made a massive blunder,” says Clare Curran.