Microcomputers in Schools

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th June 1984.

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Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North 12:00 am, 6th June 1984

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a further statement on his Department's programme for microcomputers in schools.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Baker Mr Kenneth Baker , Mole Valley

The existing micros in schools schemes come to an end in December, by which time every school in the country should have received a microcomputer. We have yet to decide whether further schemes of support from my Department are necessary.

Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the success of the scheme. May I urge him to renew it after December and ensure that schools have updated equipment in this fast-changing sphere?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Baker Mr Kenneth Baker , Mole Valley

The scheme has undoubtedly been a success and we can rightly boast that we are, in terms of education, the most advanced in the use of computers. More than 30 countries have sent teams to the United Kingdom to see what we are doing, and the companies that are involved in the scheme are selling their computers in substantial quantities to other countries. That is particularly true of India, where the Acorn computer could become the basic computer for the Indian education system. I am satisfied that our schools have had a good start in this area, though the principal expenditure for equipment in schools must, of course, lie with the Department of Education and Science.