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Kiwi students rank high on access to ICT

25 January 2006

Kiwi students rank high on access to ICT

Education Minister Steve Maharey today welcomed an OECD report rating
New Zealand secondary school students fifth out of 41 countries for access to Information Communications Technology.

"This study shows that the government's strategy to equip all young New Zealanders with skills in, and access to, ICT is achieving good results," Steve Maharey said.

"Almost all children in New Zealand, regardless of socio-economic status or geographic location, now have access to ICT and the learning opportunities it offers."

Steve Maharey said teachers and principals had been quick to take up ICT opportunities offered by the government since 2000, and were using technology in innovative ways, including desktop publishing, video making and animation.

"Every school in the country now has access to broadband and ICT equipment and more than 600 schools are involved in ICT clusters. These are results schools can be proud of."

Other highlights from the report include:

- New Zealand 15 year olds’ access to ICT in home and school was the fifth highest of participating countries at nearly 100 percent

- Most 15 year olds (approximately 80 percent) had home internet access in 2003, a figure that is likely to have risen since 2003

- Approximately 56 percent of New Zealand 15 year olds had been using computers for more than five years, the fifth highest OECD percentage

- New Zealand students ranked very highly for their confidence with Internet tasks (8th) and higher-level ICT tasks such as managing databases and building web pages (6th).

The government has invested $300 million in ICT in schools since 2000. This year schools will receive $50 million specifically for ICT over and above the $22 million provided as part of their operational grants.

The report, “Are students ready for a technology-rich world?” is available from the OECD’s Media Division - newscontact@oecd.org.

ENDS

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