A surprising pool of computer ignorance

21st August 1998 at 01:00

Belying the image of Japan as the most techno-savvy nation on the planet, a government report shows that half its teachers can't even use computers.

Although the study showed that 49 per cent of teachers from primary schools to senior high claimed some computer proficiency, only 22 per cent said they used computers for teaching. The figures are up only 2.5 percentage points from last year's survey.

Surprisingly, there is little emphasis on IT and learning with computers at the majority of Japan's schools. However, there are plans to introduce information science classes at senior high schools and to start computer education early at primary schools.

The study of 39,366 state schools showed that senior high schools had the highest concentration of computer-literate teachers at 62 per cent, followed by junior highs at 50 per cent and elementary schools at 42 per cent.

Nearly a quarter of senior high school teachers used computers in class, with junior high teachers and elementary teachers following close behind.

According to the survey, elementary schools average only 10 computers each compared with 71 for senior high schools.

Internet connections have doubled from last year with more than one-third of high schools now connected.

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