UK push for universal access to Internet

British schools minister proclaims that all students should have access outside of school, as well as in.

The British government all students to have access to the Internet outside of school, schools minister Jim Knight proclaimed recently, reports ZD Net UK.

Knight, speaking at the BETT educational technology show in London on Wednesday, said that a taskforce including Dell, Intel and RIM was being organized to promote Internet access for students at home and after-school clubs.

"The so-called digital divide cannot be allowed to create and reinforce social and academic divisions," Knight told an audience of educators and technical experts at an event to kick off the four-day show.

Knight has made high-tech in the schools a priority, feeling that it is the government's job to make a difference in this area.

"Technology has a huge impact to make. One in five schools has already integrated technology into all aspects of school life," Knight said. "We want to seize the opportunities that tech has to offer rather than being overwhelmed by the pace of change."

Becta, the government's advisory body for IT in schools, is leading the taskforce. Becta, however, has recently come under criticism for restricting schools from deploying open-source technologies.

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