Big Brother's software control

18th March 2005 at 00:00
Warwick Mansell's report on the C2K model of ICT provision in Northern Ireland needs to be accompanied by a health warning. This top-down, Stalinist approach means that it is almost impossible for schools to make decisions themselves about what software they need.

I was working with teachers in Belfast and showed them a program they thought looked very useful. However, they felt that the difficulties of getting it on to their networks meant that it was unlikely to be taken up.

Also, why would schools pay money for items which had been provided free by the state? Think of the equivalent scenario in printed material. How happy would we be to see all reading books prescribed and supplied by the Government? This "Big Brother knows best" approach is worrying.

Dr Trevor Millum

Communications and development director

National Association for the Teaching of English

50 Broadfield Road, Sheffield

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