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Digital Literacy Spend In Budget Remains Unaltered

Digital Literacy Spend In Budget Remains Unaltered

The government will continue its commitment to the Computers in Homes digital literacy programme and fund a further 1,500 families in the next year.

Today's announcement means that the programme, the brainchild of the 2020 Communications Trust, will be able to extend digital inclusion to many families with school-aged children who do not have access to a computer and internet in their homes.

"We appreciate this on-going support from Government, which ensures that thousands more school children will get access to the internet and technology that is a vital part of our country's future” said Laurence Millar, Chair of the 2020 Communications Trust.

"Technology is widespread in our lives, so New Zealanders think that everyone everywhere has internet access, but this is far from the truth," reports Millar. "Last year's census showed that 62,000 households with school-aged children do not have access to the internet at home. This equates to one in six kiwi kids who don't get to use the internet at home. Expanding the programme to 5,000 families annually would still cost less than 1% of the Government’s investment in ultra-fast broadband”

"Results from our programme have truly been amazing,” reports Millar. “Research has shown that graduates of the programme are more engaged with their children’s learning, as well as succeeding in employment and continued education. We are grateful for the funding extension, and will continue working with Government to find ways to include many more families in the programme. We urge the Government to keep investing in digital literacy alongside the infrastructure spend, to ensure all New Zealand gets the expected economic and social returns."

About Computers in Homes
Parents who participate in the programme receive 20 hours of basic computer training at their children's schools. This includes word processing, emailing and using the Internet for homework as well as for general family information and keeping safe online. When parents complete their training, they receive a refurbished computer to take home and a subsidised internet connection for 12 months. Families have access to free technical support for the first year for help with any technical problems.

The programme aims to empower parents to become actively involved in their children's learning, as well as increasing their own employment and continuing education opportunities.

Computers in Homes is an initiative of the 2020 Communications Trust with support from the Ministry of Education and Department of Internal Affairs.

About 2020 Communications Trust
The 2020 Communications Trust is a charitable trust set up in 1996 to promote digital literacy, initially for Wellington citizens, and in the year 2000 the scope was extended to include all New Zealanders.

Our vision is for all New Zealanders to be able to fully participate in a digital world. In order to achieve this vision, everyone needs the opportunity and the skills to become digitally literate.

ENDS

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