Girls better than boys in digital literacy test

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 June, 2011, 12:00am


Hong Kong pupils' digital literacy is above the international average and the city's girls are slightly more digitally literate than boys, according to exam results released by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development.

Fifteen-year-olds from Hong Kong, Macau, Colombia and 16 OECD nations took the digital literacy portion of the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment, the results of which were released yesterday.

Hong Kong pupils scored fifth highest among the 19 taking part with an average of 515 -16 points above the international mean.

Samson Tam Wai-ho, lawmaker for the IT sector, believes Hong Kong should do more to make its people more digitally literate. 'So far Hong Kong has positioned itself as an international city. The use of computers and the internet is a must for the next generation.'

South Korea - with a score of 568 - topped the list, followed by New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Macau was below average at 492. Sample questions posted on the OECD website showed that pupils were asked to answer multiple-choice reading comprehension questions based on information displayed in a variety of formats, meant to mimic layouts of a range of websites.

The results showed that Hong Kong girls and boys are nearly on par as far as digital literacy goes. Girls scored higher than boys in all 19 countries and regions, although the score differential in Hong Kong - 8 points - was well below the average gap of 24 points. Only Denmark and Colombia had smaller gaps, of six and three respectively.

The assessment is an internationally standardised test to assess reading, maths and science literacy. The test has been administered every three years since 2000, the latest being the first to include a digital literacy component.