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Nearly All New Zealand Schools Now Online

Media Release Friday 24 March 2000)

The Information Technology Minister Paul Swain has welcomed a survey of New Zealand schools which shows 96% of primary and 99% of secondary schools report some type of connection to the Internet.

BRC Marketing and Social Research carried out the survey for the Minister's Information Technology Advisory Group (ITAG) in January this year.

"While there are still some 100 schools in New Zealand to connect to the Internet, the results of this survey are encouraging," Paul Swain said.

"The ITAG survey showed that Internet use in schools has almost doubled since the previous survey in 1998.

"This compares extremely well with our UK counterparts where according to a June 1999 survey, only 58% of primary schools and 95% of secondary schools are connected to the Internet.

"Despite this the use of email and the Web is still relatively low, in particular by students. Significant numbers of staff in around half of all schools are regular users, but less than 30% of schools have significant use by students.

"The factor that seems to be behind this is a lack of cabling infrastructure in schools. Only 64% of secondary schools and 31% of primary schools have network connections between classrooms.

"Having said that Principals’ use of email and the Web has increased dramatically in the last 12 months. Around 80% of all principals reported that they are now using email at least weekly and almost 70% are using the World Wide Web at least once a week – that compares with around 60% and 45%, the year before," Paul Swain said.

"ITAG says this is an indicator of the success of the Principals’ First seminars. These seminars have clearly done much more than just raise Principals’ awareness”, he said.

Another clear success has been the ICT (Information Communication and Technology) Plan initiative. 98% primary schools and 89% secondary schools have reported that they now have an ICT Plan (up from 43% and 57%, respectively, in 1998).

The need for ongoing teacher professional development in ICT remains a priority. During the last 12 months approximately 10,000 teachers attended an ICT professional development course. Principals expect that even more teachers (estimated at around 17,000 teachers) will attend an ICT programme in the next 12 months.

For further information please contact:
Laurence Zwimpfer - 04 472 9797/ 025 306 737/ zcl@xtra.co.nz

A copy of the full report will be published on the ITAG website next week - http://www.med.govt.nz/itag/.


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