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Fighting Poverty With Computer Training

Fighting Poverty With Computer Training

Mar 20, 2007
Martin A. David
Technology Schools Columnist

The incredible growth of computer technology has further divided the old categories of "haves" and "have-nots" into "have computer skills" and "have no computer skills." That's why computer application training is quickly becoming part of anti-poverty programs. Computer education may not be a magical cure for poverty, but it is a good step forward.

Successful tech industry workers, from executives on down, are looking to use their money and expertise to fight poverty. Hong Kong financial chief Henry Tang recently announced initiatives to narrow the digital divide, including a partnership with major Asian telecom firms to bring information technology to poor villages. The thousands of successful Indians who work in America's IT industry are giving back to their homeland through microloans, venture capital and money for IT infrastructure.

In the United States, most Americans now have access to educational programs teaching computer skills, to prepare them for new jobs at living wages. The graduates of these programs receive computer application training that can be applied to business--such as in offices and retail trad--and industry. Students are trained as program operators, word processors, database administrators and more.

Another application of computer education is to open doors to free expression. People who are computer and technology have-nots are not able to fully participate in the free exchange of democratic ideas. So computer application training is also a tool to end the oppression that leads to a life of poverty. There's still a long way to go, but a good beginning has been made.


About the Author

Martin A. David consults as a Senior Technical Writer for a number of Silicon Valley firms. He has also published a novel, and a non-fiction book about dance.