Most member states are sluggish when it comes to broadband internet, a key element for teaching computer literacy and bridging frontiers between pupils from different countries.
Three months before the programme ends, only 67% of schools are connected by broadband, and this figure includes significant variations from one member state to another.
While more than 90% of schools in Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Estonia and Malta enjoy access, less than 35% in Greece, Poland, Cyprus and Lithuania are connected. Two of the three best perfomers – Estonia and Malta – are new member states, while the worst performer by far is Greece. As a comparison, 95% of public schools in the US had a broadband connection by 2003.
The number of pupils sharing computers also shows wide disparities. In Denmark, the UK and Luxembourg, between 3.8 and 5.5 students share a computer, which stands in comparison with Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Greece, where the norm is 19 students. This gives the EU an average of ten, a figure still far above that of the US where the number is four students per computer. (2003 data).