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SCHOOL COMPUTER ACCESS AHEAD OF TARGET

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Targets for computer access in secondary school have been met a year ahead of time. ...
Targets for computer access in secondary school have been met a year ahead of time.

The 2001 School Census shows that the target ratio of one modern computer for every five pupils has been achieved a year early. And all secondary schools are now connected to the internet.

Significant progress was also reported in primary schools, where there was one computer for every 11 pupils compared to 1 for every 18 in 2000, and internet access has risen from 64% of schools to 84%.

Welcoming the news, deputy education minister Nicol Stephen said:

'New technologies are changing the nature of learning and teaching in our classrooms.

'They are transforming the learning opportunities for every pupil and helping to prepare young people for a world in which these skills are essential to their future.

'The school census results show the major progress being made. Access to computers, the internet and e-mail have all improved steadily.

'Some of the secondary school targets have been met ahead of time, and the overall picture since the census is one of further improvement. We remain firmly on track to deliver all our targets this year.

'Investing in new technologies is crucial to raising achievement levels in school. I want to ensure all young people can take advantage of these opportunities.'

The Summary Results of the September 2001 School Census were published today.

The National Grid for Learning (NGfL) programme was launched in Scotland at the end of 1998. The targets for 2002 were that the computer:pupil ratio should be 1:15 in primary schools and 1:5 in secondary schools, that all schools should be connected to the internet, and that all teachers and pupils should have access to e-mail. The target pupil:computer ratio in primary schools was subsequently altered to 7.5 : 1, accompanied by additional funding to help deliver the new target.

Between 1999 and 2002 the Scottish Executive has made over£80m available to local authorities to help with the NGfL programme, and is providing£20m this financial year and next to help sustain the infrastructure that has been created.

In 1999, the first year information about ICT (information and communications technology) was collected in the School Census, the computer:pupil ratios were 1:9 in secondary schools and 1:28 in primary schools, and only 49% of primary schools had access to the internet.

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