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Schools (Microelectronics)

Volume 978: debated on Thursday 7 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if, in view of the decision of the French Government to instal microcomputers in each school, he will take steps to ensure that similar facilities are provided in British schools so as to maintain the competitive position of the future workforce in Great Britain;(2) if he has yet made a decision regarding the proposed budget for the microprocessor awareness project in schools.

As I told the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) on 5 February, my right hon. and learned Friend expects within the next few weeks to announce firm plans for a microelectronics development programme for schools and colleges. The extent to which microcomputers may be provided for work done in connection with the programme will depend on the resources which can be made available, but it is likely that the programme's main thrust will lie not in the provision of hardware but in curriculum development, arrangements for teacher training and the development and standardisation of software.