Games consoles no way to teach

I'M DISCOURAGED to see our new minister for education, Mike Russell, endorsing the use of a games console in the classroom (News, 27 December), especially given the struggles right-minded parents have every day wresting Nintendos, PS3s and Xboxes from their children's grasp to get them to focus on their homework.

Games consoles have consistently been the enemy in trying to encourage children to develop educationally and socially, especially in their early years. They discourage inquisitiveness and the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, reinforcing the lessons of instant solitary gratification that switch off so many young people from the school curriculum.

As far as language is concerned, however good the DS may be at brain teasers and quizzes, English grammar or spelling, the only way our children will develop the essentials of good communication in the language is through the voracious reading of books. Computers quite simply fail to deliver the level of immersion necessary to be anything more than a supplementary tool. And games consoles should be banished altogether.

Fiona Temple, Glasgow