In an attempt to educate Britons who are not familiar with information technology, the UK government has announced the "Online Basics Scheme", under which it will offer free-of-charge short online courses that will teach people basic computer skills that are required in their day-to-day lives.
The latest IT education scheme initiated by the government is the result of a research conducted by the government last year, which had reported that almost 11.3 million Britons were IT illiterate.
The scheme was unveiled by Business Secretary Lord Peter Mandelson who said that "Everyone should be a confident user of the internet if they are to participate fully in today's digital society. Being online brings a range of personal benefits, educational attainment and improved salary prospects for older people.”
The government hopes that the scheme will succeed in getting 1 million UK adults online in the next three years.
The Basic Online Scheme courses will come in 5 different modules which will cover lessons in typing and mouse skills along with email use and browsing the internet safely and can be taken for home provided that students have access to a PC and broadband internet.
However, for those who don’t have a PC at home, the government has set-up Online Centers in London, Barnsley, Oldham, Gloucester and Devon.
How that is different is that from the scores of other schemes that have been set up nationwide? Learndirect for example offers something very similar. Likewise, there are dozens of software suppliers out there (VTC for example) that can offer cheap solutions to help students improve their IT skills.