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Technology - Reuters - updated 7:31 AM ET Jul 13
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Friday July 13 7:31 AM ET

Stop Educating Kids with Computers -Malaysian Group

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A Malaysian consumer pressure group called on Friday for computers to be kept away from young children, saying children would suffer if computers replaced human contact.

``We're calling for a moratorium on the use of computers in early childhood and the lower primary grades,'' said Lim Jee Yuan of the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP).

``The children are losing out a lot when computers take the place of human contact,'' Lim told Reuters from northern Penang state.

The group says U.S. studies found that early exposure to computers can damage thinking skills, creativity and reduce children's attention spans.

IT-ambitious Malaysia has spent billions of dollars developing a Multimedia Super Corridor outside the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's government, intent on creating a 'knowledge society', is putting computers in rural post offices and sending IT buses to teach children in jungle backwaters.

Lim said computer education should wait until secondary school, which Malaysian children start at the age of 13.

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