OPINION: Internet fails to keep up with NAPLAN needs

DEBATE between NAPLAN advocates and detractors rages on but there is one thing they can agree on.

Online NAPLAN testing remains fraught with challenges.

News that 50,000 students were forced to re-sit the tests because of technical glitches is embarrassing.

It is not, however, surprising to anyone who lives in regional Queensland.

The tech hiccups pushed back the transition period to moving NAPLAN testing fully online from 2020 to 2021.

It is hard to imagine connection issues in the regions being resolved by 2021, though.

As the NBN roll-out continues, connections improve but it is fair to feel sceptical they will improve enough to support online NAPLAN testing in all our schools.

Maybe tests can get started and maybe internet connections will limp over the line, allowing students to finish their tests, at least.

But will connections be strong and reliable enough to give each student an equally fair shot at the tests?

Retaking a test is incredibly disruptive to the process.

Major internet improvements need to be made before 2021.

Otherwise, it's best we stick to good old pen and paper for now.