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International Standards key to Digital Literacy

International Standards key to Digital Literacy

PRESS RELEASE – Computing NZ Ltd (CNZL)

17 June 2008

For Immediate Release

“The current review of New Zealand’s Digital Strategy is the perfect time to align the digital literacy of New Zealand to international standards and begin to address our shocking workplace productivity stats” Rebecca Boyce, General Manager of Computing NZ, said today.

Computing NZ Ltd, set up by the NZ Computer Society to help improve digital literacy in NZ, brought the ICDL (International Computer Driving Licence) and e-Citizen Qualifications to New Zealand several years ago for this purpose. Both are recognised internationally as “the benchmark” for assessing basic computer literacy and hence contributing to improved productivity and efficiency, and are now used in a range of schools and businesses throughout the country.

“New Zealand has had a long history of disappointing achievement in terms of productivity and raising living standards,” Boyce said today. “For example, in 2006 New Zealand’s labour productivity ranked 22nd out of 30 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - about 25 per cent below the OECD average and 30 per cent below the level of Australia. It’s time we started to get serious about doing something about it.”

Boyce believes New Zealand’s workplace productivity can only be improved when the Government accepts the need for an internationally aligned, long-term and widely coordinated campaign to resolve these problems, and welcomes the work currently being done via the Digital Strategy to start this process.

“We need to reassess and ensure that the Digital Strategy goals and priorities provide a long term solution that will raise the level of digital literacy in New Zealand, as a means to increasing productivity and improving our OECD ranking”, Boyce said. “New Zealand is in serious need of a long-term confidence-enabled strategy that will develop digital literacy in the workplace, our schools, and our communities, and provide an assessment against an international standard”.

Computing NZ, along with the NZ Computer Society, are committed to working with Government to address these problems, and hope digital literacy is given the urgency needed to start to close the gap with our partner countries. “It’s time, now, for Government to accept that these issues are highly solvable and to work to get our country’s digital literacy back on track via internationally-recognised literacy assessment”.

ENDS


About Computing NZ Ltd

Computing NZ Ltd (CNZL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NZ Computer Society Inc and was set up in 1997 to improve the state of digital literacy in New Zealand.

Operating independently and with offices in Auckland and Wellington, CNZL achieves this by promoting internationally recognised and proven literacy assessment and training programmes to New Zealand’s industry, government and educational institutions.

About ICDL and e-Citizen

The ICDL (International Computer Driving Licence) and e-Citizen Qualification has formed an integral part of Digital Knowledge in many other parts of the world, and for the Aotearoa Peoples Network through a number of selected libraries right here in New Zealand.

ICDL provides a standard definition and an internationally recognised measure of computer skills with a balance between employer needs and employee skills. ICDL trains and certifies participants in seven separate modules including using the computer and managing files, concepts of Information Technology, information and communication, word processing, spreadsheets and databases.

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