The Irish Times reports today that the percentage of children in Ireland who frequently use computers at school is the second-lowest of all industrialised states, according to a new report. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that in 2003 — the last year for which data is available — only 24 percent of 15-year-olds in Ireland frequently used computers at school.
This is a worrying report for the Irish educational system and the hope for Ireland to move to a knowledge economy. The lack of technology funding to schools by the government is largely to blame. It’s been three years since money was made available to schools to purchase equipment. The recent broadband for schools investment was very welcome but many school computers are now over four years old so their use on broadband is limited. I hope that there will be a large injection of cash into technology for schools and most importantly training for teachers so they can get the most from technology.