27 May 2008

Pacific Island students falling further behind in computer technology

3:21 pm on 27 May 2008

Pacific Island students are falling behind in the computer age because they're lacking access and resources.

An adviser to the Pacific Islands Forum, John Budden says most schools in the Pacific do not have computers because of a lack of money and competency.

In an OECD country like New Zealand, the average ratio of computers to students is one to three.

The infrastructure adviser for the Forum Secretariat John Budden says in many Pacific island nations primary school children are lagging behind because they have virtually no opportunity to use a computer.

"I think it's partly affordability and partly competencies in skills used and partly the lack of the things you can do with it, such as connecting it to internet. In my view the digital divide is increasing."

John Budden says he hopes schools will benefit from the Pacific digital strategy which is being developed with the aim of making ICT more accessible to everyone across the region.