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[Photo credit: Josefa Uluinaceva from University of the South Pacific

Open, online and distance learning (ODL) has always
played a key role in providing access to education to
remote and rural students and disadvantaged groups
in the Pacific. In fact, it could be argued that without
ODL, the levels of educational attainment in this
region would be much lower. However, there is work
to be done, as some countries in the region still have
infrastructure problems, such as insufficient Internet
connectivity and availability, which directly impact
access to online and distance learning.

For example, while only about 50% of the global population has
access to the Internet, the percentage is even lower
in the Pacific (33%). Access to mobile subscriptions is
higher and stands at 85.5% in the Pacific, presenting
an opportunity to build a system of teaching and
learning that is cloud based and mobile friendly,
supported with other affordable and accessible
technologies (Report to Commonwealth Education
Ministers: From Response to Resilience 2020).

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