Malta has the second most digitally connected classrooms in the EU, according to a survey.

We want our young people to be exposed to ICT in school from the very beginning

The country has made substantial investment in ICT in schools over the last few years, more than doubling the number of computers in its classrooms between 2006 and 2012, according to the survey carried out by the European Commission. It was surpassed only by Ireland.

The survey shows that last year Malta had 32 computers per 100 Grade 4 pupils, double the average in the EU. Compared to 2006, when the last similar survey was conducted, the average number of computers per classroom has gone up by 19, while the average increase in the EU is only six.

Significant progress was also reported in Malta’s secondary schools, although the survey clearly indicates that most of the country’s investment was carried out in the earlier stages of schooling.

The island also ranked among the most advanced when it came to interactive whiteboards. While in the EU there is only one such board for every 111 pupils at primary level, in Malta there is one for every 18.

Sixty-five per cent of Maltese primary teachers said they use ICT tools for more than a quarter of their lessons. This is the second highest score among EU member states, with Ireland again placing first.

Sixty per cent also said they attended ICT training provided by educational authorities to improve their skills.

The EU reports a general improvement in the use of ICT in schools over the last few years, though there are marked differences among countries.

Apart from Malta and Ireland, Scandinavian and Nordic countries have the best equipment, whereas students in Poland, Romania, Italy, Greece, Hungary and Slovakia are the most likely to lack the right equipment.

Commenting on the results, EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Nellie Kroes said ICT skills and training must be available to all students and teachers “and not the lucky few”.

“We want our young people to be exposed to ICT in school from the very beginning and we want teachers who are confident to share their knowledge.”

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