Aid donors key to bridging Pacific digital divide

Updated at 11:37 am on 21 November 2011

The regional head of the world wide 'One Laptop Per Child' programme, says key Pacific donor agencies must become involved and help Pacific countries to bridge the growing digital divide.

Michael Hutak says information communication technology is at a crossroads in the region and laptops are an incentive for children to engage with schools.

He says donors such as the New Zealand aid programme and AusAid need to realise ICT can radically change the education landscape for the better and he says their involvement would make the scheme sustainable.

"The amount of money going into the Pacific in terms of aid is huge. Personnally I'd like to see more of it directed not just to OLPC but to ICT and to digital media and to the digital revolution in particular, to ensure that Pacific kids don't get left behind."

Michael Hutak says the United States Government has shown a lot of leadership in the North Pacific, with strong support for the programme in the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, where the scheme is being evaluated as its becomes established.

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