No grid here;Letter;News amp; Opinion

5th November 1999 at 00:00
I WRITE as an anxious parent who has just recently moved back into the west Fife area. My son, who is eight, attends a local primary in Lochgelly.

His previous school was a major primary in Edinburgh. I attended an informal parents' evening a couple of weeks ago and was surprised, no shocked, at the lack of information and communication technology and even more surprised that the equipment available did not work effectively.

As an IT professional who has just completed a project in Moray Council where 14,000 pupils and teachers have now got access to both Internet and e-mail facilities from the age of five and as a parent who has seen an Edinburgh primary use technology to the pupils' advantage with at least one PC per classroom, I feel very angry that because my child is now being educated in a different authority he is receiving a different level of ICT education.

Last year, Tony Blair announc-ed the Government's commitment to the National Grid for Learning. This will allow all governmental, educational and community based activities to have access to the Internet, wherever possible. The targets have been set for completion before 2002 but does my son's school know of this - no!

In the Government's consultation paper, it states that "The challenge is underpinned by a programme of over pound;1 billion to support the delivery of the Government's targets for ICT in education and lifelong learning for 2002." It later challenges all parents and teachers to get involved and push for these targets to be met.

So those in Fife should take this opportunity to contact the director of education, MPs,MSPs, the minister for lifelong learning, schools, school boards and teachers.

Do not accept feeble excuses for inaction or delay. Accept only a firm commitment to produce a detailed timetable and plan for the delivery of these services within the completion date of 2002.

Paul McGowan McKenzie Crescent Lochgelly Fife

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