Digital Literacy spend remains unaltered in budget

Laurence Millar, Chair of 2020 Trust
Laurence Millar, Chair of 2020 Trust

Press Release: 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.”

Budget announcement about Computers in Homes funding on www.beehive.govt.nz