Lack of internet access affecting education

(Last Updated On: April 15, 2014)

The Smith Family has said a lack of access to a home computer and the internet among disadvantaged families could undermine the successful implementation of school curriculums.

In its submission to the federal government’s Australian curriculum review, the national children’s education charity said the curriculum along with schools, teachers and education planners tended to assume that all children had access to a computer and the internet at home.

But The Smith Family spokesperson Anne Hampshire said the organisation’s own experience told a different story.

“It’s quite common for our frontline staff to encounter families without a home computer and with no continuity of internet access,” Ms Hampshire said.

“According to our analysis, around one-third of children aged five to 14 living in Australia’s most disadvantaged communities don’t have access to the internet at home.”

Ms Hampshire said a budget laptop can cost around $300.

Add to that a monthly broadband fee of around $30, and a family is looking at needing close to $700 in the first year – the reality is, for many families that’s too costly to contemplate.

“We know that 85 per cent of children in the 5-14 age range who use the internet at home do so for education purposes,” she continued.

“So, the impact a lack of access to a home computer and the internet has on disadvantaged children is quite clear.

Source: Roxby Downs Sun

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