Poland: Government better than Santa?
28 March 2011
“Who wants a laptop?” asks Gazeta Wyborcza. On its front page, the Polish daily reports on a government plan to provide all first-year primary school pupils (some 350,000 are expected to start school in September) with netbooks. The project, which aims “at evening out educational opportunities for children in small towns and villages and preventing digital exclusion” could cost the budget as much as one billion zlotys (approximately 250 million euros). A previous plan announced in 2008 by Prime Minister Donald Tusk had promised a ‘computing revolution’ and a PC for every high school student, but soon after it was launched the project was canceled amid the world economic crisis. The daily wonders if the new initiative could suffer the same fate, and notes that this time around, a significant proportion of the funds will be sourced from mobile phone providers who will have to pay the state some 900 million euros for 3G license fees by 2020. However, estimates from the Polish infrastructure ministry show that over 90% of families with school children have at least one computer at home. “So perhaps the main problem is not a lack of computers but the lack of Internet access, concludes the Warsaw daily.