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Pacific students lagging in computer age: researcher

by Staff Writers
Majuro (AFP) May 25, 2008
Pacific island students are falling behind in the computer age due to a lack of facilities and access to the few resources available, an advisor to the Pacific Forum said Sunday.

In many island countries, elementary school children have virtually no access to the Internet and little opportunity to use computers, Forum secretariat telecommunications advisor John Budden said here.

Budden, who is preparing a survey for the Forum on the issue, was on the last stop of his Pacific research.

He said he was concerned that as telecommunications technology became available in the region, many countries may not have the human resources to manage and use it.

In many islands, only a small percentage of schools have computer laboratories, which are often under-resourced, he said.

"If computers are not available in schools, students are missing out," he said. "It's essential for capacity building and for the career paths of students to college and beyond."

At the largest public high school in the Marshall Islands, 860 students compete to use 10 computers with Internet access.

"While this is an improvement from nothing at all, it is still severely insufficient," said Marshall Islands High School teacher Richard Li. "In the year 2008, having a computer without Internet access is like having a car without gas."

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Icahn moves to replace Yahoo board, restart Microsoft talks
Washington (AFP) May 15, 2008
Billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn announced a bid Thursday to unseat the board of Yahoo and reopen merger talks with Microsoft, which Icahn said had been "completely botched" by the Internet firm.

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