Computers still thin on the ground

COMPUTERS may be the educational tool of the century but many teachers are still waiting to get their hands on one, writes Jon Slater.

According to official figures, only two teachers per secondary school have a computer for their personal use. The figure for primaries is one teacher in every two schools.

And despite the fact that nine in 10 staff have been trained in information and communication technology, a third of teachers still do not feel confident using computers as part of the curriculum.

Many teachers have not had the opportunity to master even the most basic skills tht employees in business take for granted. Six in seven primary teachers and two-thirds of secondary teachers do not have their own e-mail address.

However, computers are becoming more common in schools. The average number of pupils per computer in both primary and secondary schools continues to fall and Internet access has expanded rapidly under the Government's national grid for learning initiative.

Meanwhile 93 per cent of secondary schools are now connected to the Internet and the number of primary schools "wired up" rose from 17 per cent in 1998 to 62 per cent in 1999.


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