26 May 2008

Pacific children slipping in digital divide

1:46 pm on 26 May 2008

Pacific island students are said to be falling behind in the computer age due to a lack of facilities and access to resources.

A telecommunications adviser to the Pacific Forum, John Budden, says that in many island countries, primary school children have virtually no access to the internet and little opportunity to use computers.

Mr Budden, who is preparing a survey for the Forum on the issue, was in the Marshall Islands on the last stop of a Pacific research trip.

He said he was concerned that as telecommunications technology became available in the region, many countries may not have the human resources to manage and use it.

At the largest public high school in the Marshall Islands, 860 students compete to use 10 computers with internet access.